Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Identification of natural pathogens from wild Drosophila suzukii.

Abstract

BACKGROUNDDrosophila suzukii (Matsumura, 1931) (spotted wing drosophila), an invasive species, has recently become a significant global pest of soft-skinned fruits such as berries. Unlike other Drosophila species, female D. suzukii have evolved a specialized sharp, serrated ovipositor that pierces and penetrates ripe and ripening fruits, causing them to lose commercial value and preventing their sale. A first step for the development of biological control agents for pest management may be achieved through the identification of microbes infectious for D. suzukii in the wild. RESULTS We first determined that D. suzukii is susceptible to chemicals commonly used to rear Drosophilids in the laboratory and established a diet able to sustain healthy D. suzukii growth. Using this diet, we demonstrated that of 25 species of culturable bacteria and fungi isolated from field-collected D. suzukii, eight microbes decreased host survival when injected. Three of the eight bacteria (Alcaligenes faecalis, Achromobacter spanius and Serratia marcescens) were acutely pathogenic to both D. suzukii and Drosophila melanogaster adults by injection. Feeding of these bacteria resulted in susceptibility only in larvae. CONCLUSION We successfully identified multiple microbes from field-collected D. suzukii that are pathogenic to both larvae and adults through different routes of infection, some of which could be candidates for biocontrol of this species.