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How to find us A.J. Kruitwagen, MSc

A.J. Kruitwagen, MSc

PhD student
A.J. Kruitwagen, MSc

Finding and improving of natural enemies for the biological control of the new invasive pest species Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii).

Almost a decade ago, a new pest species invad­ed Europe and North America: the spotted wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). This fruit fly is a ma­jor concern for farmers of soft fruits since it is able to lay its eggs in soft ripening fruits such as strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry. There is however a lack of environmental friendly control methods to manage the pest. We focus on the question how we can use the pests’ natural enemies to manage the pest population, as a means of biological control.

The main natural enemy of fruit flies are parasitic wasps (parasitoids). These are small insects that lay their eggs in the developing fly larvae or pupae. The problem is that most parasitoids in the invaded areas seem to have a low ability to kill the D. suzukii fly (Kruitwagen et al. 2018). This projects aims to investigate the relationship between native parasitoids and the D. suzukii pest, to understand to what extent natural enemies can adapt to the new pest species and select a “Super-Wasp” that can be used by farmers to protect their crops.

Future students

Please contact me if you are interested in doing a project with me. I am happy to discuss ideas within the framework of my project or propose existing projects to you which we can develop further together.

Last modified:07 December 2021 10.54 a.m.

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