LOEWE Center for
Insect Biotechnology
& Bioresources

Molecular Biocontrol

Prof. Dr. Marc Schetelig – »Fraunhofer Attract«

Drosophila suzukii (spotted wing Drosophila) is a highly invasive fruit pest, which originates from Southeast Asia and has spread rapidly in Europe and the USA since 2007. D. suzukii predominantly affects soft fruits and stone fruits and is adapted to cold regions. There are currently no effective and sustainable methods to control this pest and even the use of insecticides is limited because fruits are infested just before harvest. Initial estimates suggest this species will cause 500 million dollars of losses in just three US states.
 
SIT could provide an ideal solution, based on the mass release of sterile transgenic D. suzukii males. The Fraunhofer Attract group is developing environmentally beneficial technologies for sex separation and the induction of male sterility in D. suzukii, both of which are required for successful SIT programs. After extensive testing, the systems will be used in integrated pest management programs together with other technologies.

Research topics:

  • Drosophila suzukii pest control
  • Sterile insect technique
  • Environment-friendly population control

Group leader: Prof. Dr. Marc F. Schetelig
Group members:

Dr. Ying Yan

Sabine Fischer

Bashir Hosseini

Derya Arslan

Kevin Baumann

Julia Hehner

Akriti Subedi

Dr. Lea Talmann

Sponsor: »Fraunhofer Attract« program of the Fraunhofer Society