The leaders of the five work packages and their closest co-workers met at the facilities of the University of Warwick in Brussels, Belgium on October 16th and 17th.
On the first day, the work conducted during the first half of the project and recently collated into the midterm report to the funding agencies was reviewed. In particular, the Danish partners presented their laboratory screening of the pathogenicity of fungal strains, which led to the selection of a promising strain of Metarhizium brunneum for further testing by all partners in different crops and climatic conditions. The French partners presented their efforts to identify plants and olfactory stimuli that could be used in a push-pull strategy. Evidence from field studies suggest that the push-pull strategy has significant potential to reduce oviposition, for example, of the cabbage fly on broccoli.
On the second day, the participants discussed how to best package the single management approaches into a toolbox for integrated control. An experimental approach was conceived, which combines a repellent “push”, an attractive “pull” and the use of entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes. The experiment will be carried out in the field in 2019 in France and Norway, while complementary small-scale studies will be carried out in the other partner countries.
The informal atmosphere fostered an open and lively exchange between the participants, and renewed their engagement and dialogue in the search for sustainable solutions to managing root-feeding flies