OPTYMUS

The aim of the project coordinated by IPSP is the setup of a protocol for the mass rearing of the parasitoid Torymus sinensis that has been recently introduced into Italy for the control of the Asian gall wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus on chestnut. Through a close cooperation among research centers, stakeholders and chestnut growers the project aims at improving the quality of chestnut produced in Campania, indicating the risks of pesticide use in a complex ecosystem such as chestnut wood. Each chestnut grower could become a parasitoid producer to increase the biological control of the Asian gall wasp in his farm with a concurrent reduction of the use of traditional pesticides. At regional level this traduces into a quicker spreading of the parasitoid with a drastic reduction of the time needed for a reliable and effective control of the pest. This strategy also opens the possibility for a conversion of chestnut farm to organic with a significant increase in the price of their products along with the possibility of using chestnut farms for leisure time and for harvesting berries and mushrooms (which is virtually impossible in conventional farms). Results transfer is granted by the involvement of stakeholders and farmers that are main actors of the project. The mass production/release of Torymus sinensis will contribute to the increase of chestnut biodiversity with positive effects on the entire ecosystem.

Research staff

Research activity

  • Production defense and biosafety