Researchers of the Futureco Bioscience R+D+I Department have recently published in the magazine Fruticultura the article "Design and evaluation of bioinsecticide prototypes for the control of the olive fruit fly", which can be consulted here.
The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, is a serious phytosanitary problem for olive trees and olive production worldwide. Despite its economic importance, there are a limited number of products authorized for its control (mostly chemicals). Of the different tools authorized for the control of the olive fruit fly, 62.5% of the formulations are based on only two of the active substances (deltamethrin and dimethoate, the latter will be banned from July 2020). The scarcity of properly authorized phytosanitary defense means of biological origin produces the multiplication of treatments with products based on synthetic substances, which in turn increases the development of resistance and a negative impact on the environment.
This study has been carried out within the framework of the INNOLIVAR project, in collaboration with the University of Cordoba (UCO), and in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement between the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and the UCO, co-financed by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). The object of the agreement is the "Elaboration of a pre-commercial formula of entomopathogenic fungi for the control of the olive fruit fly". The project started in February 2019, and will be completed in October 2021. The execution of the project is based on a conceptual design of the bioinsecticide with a holistic approach that takes into account all the feasibility characteristics of the the developed formula, with particular reference to the technical and production conditions and the economical and regulatory aspects.
The article, recently published in Fruticultura, describes the first results of the project, which include the microbiological characterization of Metarhizium brunneum strain EAMb 09/01, the selection of the most suitable substrate for the production of conidia, the formulation of different formulated prototypes and the evaluation of their efficacy on the model insect Ceratitis capitata under laboratory conditions. Our formulations with the spores of the entomopathogenic fungus reduce the emergence of adults, whether the formulated prototype is applied on larvae (80-93% efficacy) or applied on pupae (64-68% efficacy).