DROMYTAL - Drosophila suzukii management through yeast-based trapping lures

Funded by:

European fund for regional development (EFRD 2014–2020)


Project aim:

The invasive pest Drosophila suzukii, introduced from Asia, has caused great damage to various fruit crops since its first massive appearance in South Tyrol in 2011. It affects particularly stone and berry fruits as well as grapes of the local red wine variety “Vernatsch”/”Schiava”. Various control methods have been tested, however with limited success. The aim of the project is therefore to develop an innovative control measure against the fly. By exploiting interdisciplinary expertise in entomology, electrophysiology, microbiology and metabolomics, and by studying the attractive action of selected yeast species and their metabolites against D. suzukii, an attract & kill system will be developed. An insecticide of the latest generation will be added to the most effective yeast formulation. The aim is to reduce the level of insecticide residues on fruit while at the same time improving efficacy.


Expected Results:

• Identification of an attractive lure to attract Drosophila suzukii in a defined surface area
• Identification of a phagostimulant component to hold the insect on the chosen surface area
• Definition of the insecticide component to add in the attractant system
• Development of a system suitable for field application
• Evaluation of field efficacy for the developed attract & kill system and its optimization


Obtained Results:

During the project an attractive bait was developed. The metabolic components and volatiles of the yeast culture bait were identified. The phagostimulant and attractant bait was combined with different insecticides, showing good efficacy in laboratory trials with different active ingredients. Field trials were performed on grapevine and cherry with the combination that had given the best results in the laboratory: bait based on Hanseniaspora uvarum strain 2.2 yeast culture + spinosad-based insecticide. In the field, only part of the canopy was treated proposing an attract and kill strategy. On grapevines, only the foliage is treated, avoiding treatment of the bunches of grapes; on cherry trees, only a strip of the canopy of about 1 m wide is treated. The results of the field efficacy trials show that the attract and kill strategy developed, makes it possible to reduce the amount of insecticide per ha by 3 to 10 times, depending on the type of crop, while maintaining damage control levels equal to conventional insecticide treatment.


Project duration:

18.11.2016 – 31.12.2020




Project team:

The DROMYTAL project involves an interdisciplinary approach and close collaboration between the partners involved.
The 'Entomology' working group of the Laimburg Research Centre is responsible for studies on the cultivation and formulation of yeast strains that are bioactive against D. suzukii and their influence in feeding trials on the fecundity and fitness of the phytophage. The metabolic substances produced by bioactive yeast cultures are identified by the Laboratory for Aromas and Metabolites at the Laimburg Centre in order to identify substances showing phagostimulant activity.
The Free University of Bozen/Bolzano is in charge of the project's electrophysiology tests and thus of the studies on the perception of volatile substances by D. suzukii. Volatile compounds from yeast cultures that could act in an attractive or repellent manner towards the insect will be identified. An external research group carries out the behavioural studies in the laboratory.
The 'Entomology' working group of the Laimburg Centre carries out the application part of the project by setting up field efficacy trials of the attract&kill system and trials to optimise the application in open fields for the purpose of persistence of efficacy.

Laimburg research centre:



• Dr. Silvia Schmidt, Silvia.Schmidt@laimburg.it – Working Group "Entomology" (Project Leader)
• DDI Urban Spitaler, Urban.Spitaler@laimburg.it – Working Group Entomology (Project collaborator)
• Dr. Daniela Eisenstecken, Daniela.Eisenstecken@laimburg.it – Laboratory for Flavors and Metabolites (Sub-project Leader)
• Flavia Bianchi, MSc Flavia.Bianchi@laimburg.it – Laboratory for Flavorsand Metabolites (Project collaborator)
• Cristina Gadotti, Cristina.Gadotti@laimburg.it – Project Management Working Group (Project Manager)
• Dr. Franziska Maria Hack, Franziska-Maria.Hack@laimburg.it – Working Group "Scientific Communication and Event Management" (Project Communication)
• Carlo Simone Cossu, MSc, carlo-simone.cossu@laimburg.it – Working Group "Entomology" (Project Collaborator)

Free University of Bolzano: