Advances in the chemical ecology of Drosophila suzukii and its applications
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Significant progress has been made in understanding the cues involved in the host and mate seeking behaviors of spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura). This insect pest has been discovered in many fruit growing regions around the world since 2008. Unlike closely related Drosophila species, D. suzukii attacks fresh fruit and has become a severe pest of soft fruits including strawberry, cherry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, and may pose a threat to grapes. Prior to 2008, little was known about the courtship and host-seeking behaviors or chemical ecology of this pest. Since then, researchers have gained a better understanding of D. suzukii attraction to specific odors from fermentation, yeast, fruit, and leaf sources, and the visual cues that elicit long-range attraction. Several compounds have also been identified that elicit aversive behaviors in adult D. suzukii flies. Progress has been made in identifying the constituent compounds from these odor sources that elicit D. suzukii antennal responses in electrophysiological assays. Commercial lures based on food volatiles have been developed to attract D. suzukii using these components and efforts have been made to improve trap designs for monitoring this pest under field conditions. However, current food-based lures and trap technologies are not expected to be specific to D. suzukii and thus capture large numbers of non-target drosophilids. Attractive and aversive compounds are being evaluated for monitoring, mass trapping, and for the development of attract-and-kill and push-pull techniques to manage D. suzukii populations. This review outlines presently available research on the chemical ecology of D. suzukii and discusses areas for future research.