Although fruit fly host status determination/designation lies at the heart of strategic decisions on national and international trade of fruit and vegetables, all attempts thus far to define host plant status have been contentious and as a result long-standing disputes between commercial partners throughout the world have lingered over decades. Part of the problem is that too little effort has been devoted to understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in host plant use by fruit flies and that instead economic and political interests usually prevail. Here we review the most important evolutionary, biological, ecological, physiological, and behavioral aspects that drive host use by fruit flies, and then construct a flow diagram rooted in these fundamentals that outlines a series of steps and definitions to determine if a particular fruit or vegetable (and cultivars thereof) is a natural host, or a conditional (potential, artificial) host, or a nonhost. Along the way, we incorporate risk analysis considerations and propose that the underlying complexity determining host plant utilization by fruit flies requires a flexible systems approach capable of realistically dealing with fly/host/environment/geographic variability on a case-by-case basis.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Supplemental Material

Supplementary Data

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error