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INEGI works with Polytechnic of Viana and U.Porto Faculty of Sciences to fight flies that attacks blueberries

17 August 2021
Finding a biological solution to fight the 'Drosophila suzukii' fly, a pest that attacks blueberry plantations causing considerable damage, is the objective of the project that brings together the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (IPVC), the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP) and INEGI.

In a press release, the Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo explains that the feasibility of using parasitoid arthropods – predators of this fly species, ideally autochthonous – will be studied over the next three years aiming at integrating them into sustainable control measures, avoiding the use of chemicals to lower pest density and damage to blueberry orchards.

According to Júlio Lopes, professor at the Escola Superior Agrária (ESA) of IPVC, the pest has already been identified both internationally and in Portugal, and "the company involved in the project has suffered quite large losses”, hence it intends to "apply the result of work in the blueberry plantations”.

Besides the allies in the "biological struggle”, the project also includes the creation of "specific traps". It is in this challenge that INEGI will contribute, developing a capture system capable of attracting flies leading to a population reduction.

The new trap will be designed to be more efficient and selective, meeting the requirements defined by the innovative laboratory processes developed by the co-promoter partners, and the company's scalability needs. INEGI will monitor several phases, including concept and prototyping, as well as the support for product validation tests and the study for further industrialization.

The project "STOP.SUZUKII - Operational Tool to Improve Blueberry Production and Combat the Damage Caused by Drosophila Suzukii” is a co-promotion led by a blueberry producer with the collaboration of IPVC and FCUP, funding by the Thematic Operational Programme – COMPETE. INEGI assumes the role of a subcontracted partner of the leading company.
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