Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) contributes to the development of sour rot in grape.
This research aimed to more clearly describe the interactions of Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura; Diptera: Drosophilidae) with microorganisms that may contribute to spoilage or quality loss of wine grapes during harvest. Experiments were conducted in controlled laboratory experiments and under field conditions to determine these effects. Laboratory trials determined the role of insect contact and oviposition to vector spoilage bacteria onto wine grapes. In the field, the roles of key organoleptic parameters in grape fruit ripening were assessed to determine their relative contribution to oviposition potential as fruit ripened. Finally, field trials determined the relationships of egg and larval infestation to sour rot levels. Non-ovipositional trials indicated elevated levels of microbiota when D. suzukii was present. D. suzukii oviposition exponentially increased the concentration of acetic acid bacteria. Both incised and sound berries showed a significant increase in concentrations of acetic acid bacteria exposed to D. suzukii. Volatile acidity was higher in treatments infested with D. suzukii. Fruit with only eggs did not develop a significant increase of volatile acidity. Larva-infested grape berries in 9.5% of samples developed higher volatile acidity after 14 d. Sound grape berries were less susceptible to the development of microbiota associated with sour rot and spoilage. D. suzukii oviposition and larval development increase risk of spoilage bacteria vectored by D. suzukii adults. Acetic acid bacteria induced fermentation and produced several volatile compounds contributing to spoilage. Spoilage bacteria may create a positive feedback loop that attracts both D. suzukii and other drosophilids, which may contribute to additional spoilage.