In this study, we investigated the effects of non-nutritive sugars and sugar alcohols on the survivorship of spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, and found erythritol and erythrose as potentially insecticidal to the fly. In a dose-dependent study, erythritol and erythrose significantly reduced fly longevity, with 100% mortality with 1, 0.5, 0.1 & 0.05 M doses after feeding for 7 days. When sucrose and erythritol solutions were provided separately to flies for 7 days, there was no effect on survivorship regardless of erythritol concentrations. However, with a serial combination of sucrose and erythritol solutions, fly survivorship was significantly decreased for the same period. Also, the higher dose of erythritol regardless of the sucrose dose combined showed greater mortality. In a no-choice assay, D. suzukii ingested more erythritol than sucrose or water, indicating the fly continuously fed on erythritol for 72 h. Also under no-choice conditions, erythritol and sucrose-fed flies gained more weight than water-fed flies. However, in two-choice assays, the amount of erythritol ingested was less than sucrose or water. Total sugar and glycogen levels among erythritol and erythrose-fed flies were significantly less than mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and sucrose-fed flies after 48 h. This indicates that these two non-nutritive sugars can’t be used a substrate for enzymes involved in sugar metabolism. Although the metabolism of erythritol and erythrose is unknown in insects, the mortality of D. suzukii flies ingesting these sugars might be caused by two potential physiological changes. The fly is starved by feeding of non-metabolizable erythritol and erythrose, or experiences abnormally high osmotic pressure in the hemolymph with erythritol molecules diffused from the midgut. Non-nutritive sugars might be used as an insecticide alone or combined with conventional or biological insecticides to enhance efficacy. If other sugar sources are present, a palatable sugar might be mixed with erythritol to elicit feeding.
Man-Yeon Choi, Siew Bee Tang, Seung-Joon Ahn, Kaushalya G. Amarasekare, Peter Shearer, Jana C. Lee, "Effect of non-nutritive sugars to decrease the survivorship of spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii", Journal of Insect Physiology, Vol. 99, 2017, Pages 86-94, ISSN 0022-1910, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2017.04.001.