Nondestructive Detection of Spotted Wing Drosophila Infestation in Blueberry Fruit Using Optical Imaging (2021-2023, USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program)
Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is a devasting pest for blueberries grown in Mississippi and beyond. Blueberry growers are under intense pressure to monitor SWD infestation and protect yield loss. The zero tolerance for SWD larvae inside the fruit is also posing significant challenges for packinghouses in identifying and removing infested fruit to ensure safe fruit to consumers. Current methods for detecting SWD infestation in blueberries are tedious, destructive, labor-intensive, and thus unsuitable for high-throughput inspection. Therefore, we will conduct novel research to explore the development of a non-destructive and rapid method based on optical imaging technology for enhanced detection of SWD infestation in blueberries.