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Sino-German Symposium on Integrated Management of Drosophila suzukii held at JKI from Juni 26 to July 1, 2017

"She's got the look"

In order to identify current knowledge gaps and potentially efficient strategies to control “Spotted Wing Drosophila“ (SWD) in both Asia (area of origin) and Germany (area of invasion), the Julius Kühn Institute organized a symposium at its sites Darmstadt and Dossenheim (near Heidelberg) from June 26 to July 1, 2017. A board of highly qualified experts from universities as well as research institutions from China, Germany, Italy as well as Switzerland participated. They presented and discussed their latest results in research in the field of biology and ecology, overwintering, migration, climate adaptation as well as potential non-chemical strategies and novel approaches to control this serious pest.

Drosophila suzukii is difficult to control due to

a) its short generation time resulting in several overlapping generations with all developmental stages present simultaneously;

b) high population densities;

c) broad distribution based on its polyphagy and its migration between orchards and natural habitats.

Eco-evolutionary approaches prove the exceptional position of Drosophila suzukii. The fly is able to spread rapidly and settle new areas of different structural and climate conditions permanently not only because of its polyphagy, but also due to its morphological and physiological adaptations like egg apparatus, visual and olfactorial orientation, diapausing behavior and more. Natural enemies are explored intensively in Asia as well as in Europe. Innovative research looks for possibilities of resistance breeding or the manipulation of field population by the release of sterilized flies. Current IPM systems that are used in China and Germany were presented (monitoring, prognosis models, plant protection products, cultural measurements etc.).

At an excursion that followed the meeting the participants visited the LTZ Augustenburg, the OGM Obstgroßmarkt Mittelbaden eG at Oberkirch and several private growers producing soft and stone fruits in the area of Ortenau. The field visits of orchards demonstrated current practical experience in pest management in Germany and were organized by the Plant Protection Services.

The Chinese-German Symposium was the second bilateral meeting concerning SWD. It has been gratefully sponsored by the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion (SGC), Peking. The organization of the first meeting, which took place in China in 2015, was in the hands of the German-Chinese Agricultural Centre (DCZ).

The workshop was successful in building a scientific consortium from both countries covering a multi-discipline approach. The experts summarized that great progress in gain of knowledge about this invasive pest organism has been made since the first meeting in 2015. The partners initiated further plans for collaboration. The knowledge and ideas gained from the workshop will be helpful to conduct successful basic and applied research on integrated management of SWD. Thus, follow-up effects are expected for the development of integrated management of SWD in China and Germany as well as in other regions of the world.