Massimiliano Virgilio



In-silico boosted, pest prevention and off-season focus IPM against new and emerging fruit flies (‘OFF-Season’ FF-IPM)

FF-IPM is an H2020 EU funded project coordinated by the University of Thessaly (Volos, Greece) and comprises 21 partners. The RMCA is the technical manager of the project and Work Package leader. The FF-IPM project targets three highly polyphagous fruit fly (FF) species (Tephritidae) that cause devastating losses in the fresh fruit producing industry, the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), a serious emerging pest in northern temperate areas of Europe, the Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) and the peach fruit fly (B. zonata) two major new (invasive) pests, which pose an imminent threat to European horticulture. The project aims to introduce in-silico supported prevention, detection and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches for both new and emerging FF, based on spatial modelling across a wide range of spatial levels, novel decision support systems, and new knowledge regarding biological traits of the target species, fruit trading and socioeconomics. FF-IPM introduces a fundamental paradigm shift in IPM towards “OFFSeason” management of FF by targeting the overwintering generation when population undergoes significant bottlenecks, preventing, this way, population growth later in season. “ON-Season” control approaches will be generated for different spatial scales considering both existing and developed by FF-IPM tools and services. Innovative prevention tools to track FF infested fruit (e-Nose) and rapidly identify intercepted specimens (Rapid-Molecular-Pest-ID tools) in imported commodities and at processing industries will be produced. Species specific e-trapping systems for the three-target FF will be advanced and employed by novel detection strategies based on spatial modelling. Both “ON and OFF-Season” IPM approaches and detection strategies will be validated in selected locations in eight different countries. FF-IPM generated data on FF response under stress conditions, overwintering dynamics, establishment and dispersion patterns of low population densities combined with advanced spatial population modeling are expected to contribute towards understanding drivers of emerging and new pests under climate change scenarios. RMCA is mainly involved in the development of detection and identification tools (both morphological and molecular) and in population genetics research tracing the origin of potential invasions.


  • Marc De Meyer
  • Datum:

    2019 2024

    Externe partners:

    University of Thesally, Greece
    Benaki Phytopathological Institute, Greece
    Agricultural Research Organisation of Israel, Israel
    inSilico-IPM, Poland
    PCA Technologies, Italy
    Sveuciliste U Splitu, Croatia
    Universitat Jaume I de Castellon, Spain
    E-Nema, Gesellschaf für Biotechnologie und biologischen Pflanzenschutz, Germany
    CIRAD, La Reunion France
    Osterreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernahrungssicherheit, Austria
    Instituto Universitario de Lisboa, Portugal
    Universita degli Studi del Molise, Italy
    ANECOOP, Spain
    R&DO Ltd, Cyprus
    Corvus, Poland
    Stellenbosch University, South Africa
    Citrus Research International, South Africa
    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia
    China Agricultural University, China
    University of California, USA