Drosophila suzukii is an invasive species recently introduced in Europe and causing damages to fruit production. Trichopria drosophilae is considered one of the most suitable indigenous parasitoid to be used in biocontrol programs against D. suzukii. To characterize genetic variability and the spatial genetic structure of populations of T. drosophilae, we developed 21 species-specific molecular markers. Samples of T. drosophilae were collected in 16 localities and each of three different habitats and revealed three genetic groups. Though most of the sampled individuals showed mixed assignment probabilities to one of three genetic groups, we found a coincidence between the highest assignment probability to one of the three groups and the preferred habitat (limited gene flow among habitats within localities). Futher analyses suggested that T. drosophilae disperses well among different regions (high gene flow among localities). These findings indicate how genetic studies may be used to track the dispersal of a species that is released for biological control.
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacterium proteins protect Bt maize from being fed on by specific insects. A new, systematic analysis of international field data confirms that non-target organisms in Bt maize are largely spared.
Zufferey V., Verdenal T., Reynard J.-S., Dienes-Nagy A., Belcher S., Lorenzini F., Rösti J., Gindro K., Spangenberg J. E., Viret O., Carlen C., Spring J.-L.
Tests carried out by Agroscope in the Valais region reveal that the Humagne Rouge grape variety yields better wines and is less susceptible to bunch shrivel when grapevines are not irrigated.
Seehausen M. L., Valenti R., Fontes J., Meier M., Marazzi C., Mazzi D. and Kenis M.
A natural antagonist of Drosophila suzukii, a parasitic wasp from its native range, is harmless to the native non-target species Drosophila melanogaster. This has been proven in trials in secured field cages in Switzerland.