Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF INSECT PESTS OF TEMPERATE TREE FRUIT CROPS

Location: Fruit and Vegetable Insect Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1. Develop new knowledge of life history, behavior, genetics, physiology, and ecology of CM, leafrollers, pear psylla, cherry fruit fly, apple maggot, secondary pests, and their natural enemies that provide opportunities for new and improved bio-rational management of tree fruit insect pests. Objective 2. Develop monitoring methods and techniques that provide information to growers on the presence and threat level from pear psylla and CM. Objective 3. Develop biorational and sustainable methods for control of CM, leafrollers, pear psylla, and fruit fly pests of tree fruits. Objective 4. Develop and refine postharvest treatments for quarantine and phytosanitation pests to maintain or increase domestic and foreign markets of deciduous tree fruit. Objective 5. Develop and evaluate multicomponent systems approach where accumulative effects of different processes suitable for commercial operations reduce or eliminate postharvest arthropod pests.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Objective 1. Determine foods used by fruit flies in nature. Determine local movement patterns of fruit flies. Evaluate nutritional requirements of fruit flies. Characterize pear psylla behavioral responses to psylla and pear odors. Determine impact of insecticides on codling moth development by looking at mating and oviposition following exposures. Anthocoroid predators of psylla will be studied to determine behavioral, morphological, and molecular differences among species. Monoclonal antibodies and PCR techniques will be used to identify pear psylla consumed by predators. New methods for moving and stabilizing genes will be evaluated for use against codling moth. Objective 2. Formulations and chemicals for feeding attractant and kairomone lures will be tested for fruit flies. Arena and flight tunnel assays, GC-EAD and GC-MS will be used to isolate and identify new kairomonal attractans and pheromones for psylla and codling moth. Objective 3. New formulations will be developed for virus and nematode pathogens of insects. Baits and insecticides will be modified and formulated for killing fruit flies. Dispensers, formulations, and strategies for codling moth mating disruption will be evaluated. Objective 4. Basic and applied studies will be conducted to determine the efficacy of postharvest treatments to control various arthropod pests on temperate tree fruits. Tests will be conducted on the most susceptible resistant life stage. The test of suitability will be efficacious control with acceptable fruit. Phytotoxic effects will be measured in collaboration with other research facilities. Objective 5. Applied studies in the laboratory, in orchards, and in commercial facilities will be conducted to evaluate the accumulative impact of various operations for reducing postharvest pests. These processes include, but are not limited to field control, host status, commodity shorting and culling, pest detection and computerized selection, inspection, baths and packing lines and storage conditions. Treatments could also be added during the postharvest process. Formerly 5352-22000-015-00D (3/05). 5352-43000-010-00D combined into this project. (2/08)


3.Progress Report
Research determined the fate of codling moth larvae in apples under laboratory conditions similar to tropical climates. It was determined that codling moth exposed to a 12:12 L:D photoperiod did not complete diapause and codling moth, therefore, would pose little threat to importing countries in tropical regions. Trials determined efficacy of a temperature and atmospheric gas (CATTS) treatment, within a pallet configured quarantine chamber, to control oriental fruit moth. Treatments successful in killing all moth larvae in nectarines were, however, detrimental to fruit quality. We evaluated attract-and-kill systems for codling moth, lures for pear psylla and codling moth, and a trap for pest wasps, and compared pheromone and blacklight for trapping spotted cutworm moths. HORTON Effects of a cover crop in orchards on movement and feeding by natural enemies of pest insects were assessed. Movement was monitored by marking insects in the cover crop and collecting marked insects from the tree. Gut contents of predators were examined to confirm that predators had fed on the target pest. Studies were conducted to develop more effective monitoring and management capabilities for apple and pear growers. New technologies including improved spatial and temporal targeting of codling moth have the potential to allow growers to reduce their seasonal use of insecticides within their integrated pest management program. Research characterizes molecular/biochemical systems crucial for mate recognition, reproduction, and development. Gene transcripts encoding proteins with known roles in sex pheromone production and detection, egg formation and development, and response to physiological stresses have been cloned and are currently being characterized. We recently developed DNA sequence-based methods which allow us to analyze the diet of several predator groups to help determine if they contribute to pest control in orchards. A series of DNA probes specific to five pest insects of apple and pear have been developed. A DNA-based method that broadly detects aphids in the guts of insect predators was developed. We evaluated two methods used at packinghouses to detect cherry fruit fly larvae inside crushed cherries, evaluated the use of body structures to reliably separate apple maggot and snowberry maggot flies, studied mating behavior of these flies, tested insecticides in baits to reduce egg laying by cherry fruit flies, tested insecticides and chilling to kill fly larvae inside cherries, and determined the use of domestic and wild cherries by cherry fruit flies and its implications on fly population levels. We determined that a virus isolated from the Pandemis leafroller can kill young larvae rapidly, but may take as long as three weeks to kill older larvae. Food consumption was reduced in these larvae and infected older larvae contaminate other larvae. The main value of the virus to growers is its ability to remain in the environment and recycle through Pandemis caterpillar populations.


4.Accomplishments
1. Fate of codling moth in apples exported to tropical countries. Codling moth is a major quarantine pest in apples destined for Asian-Pacific markets, such as Taiwan and Thailand. The potential for establishment of this pest in tropical latitudes was not known. ARS researchers at Wapato, WA, found that 30% of codling moth larvae exited the fruit to form cocoons and that those not subjected to chilling at 10°C did not emerge from dormancy, within the 6 month test. Of the 30% that survived to make cocoons, and then were chilled at 10°C for greater than 2 weeks, only 0.025% emerged. This new information will be used in revised pest risk analysis models to improve trade of apples to Asian-Pacific countries.

2. Commercialization of Controlled Atmosphere Temperature Treatment System (CATTS). The potential presence of codling moth or oriental fruit moth in peaches and nectarines exported to several countries has caused the imposition of quarantine restrictions against these pests. CATTS treatments have been developed to kill these internal feeding pests without causing loss of commodity quality. ARS researchers at Wapato, WA, determined that CATTS quarantine treatments of palletized boxes of commercial nectarines and peaches require longer treatment times than unpacked bins of fruit. Extended treatment times may result in additional phytotoxicity to the fruit, reducing market quality and export value. Treatment of palletized fruit is not recommended at this time.

3. Identification of a sex pheromone in pear psylla. Difficulties in controlling and monitoring pear psylla have led to efforts at developing a synthetic attractant. ARS scientists at the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in cooperation with a chemist at University of California identified, synthesized, and assayed a female-specific chemical for attractiveness to male pear psylla. The synthesized chemical was found to attract males in both laboratory and field assays. This is the first identification of a sex pheromone in any species of psyllid, and advances made in these studies could lead to the commercial production of a synthetic attractant for use in monitoring or managing field populations of psylla.

4. Precision Management of Codling Moth. Codling moth as the key pest of apple and pear is primarily managed with a number of insecticide sprays applied during the season. Standard management practices for codling moth use a series of calendar sprays applied to the entire orchard during the season. In comparison, precision agriculture restricts sprays both spatially and temporally based on the use of action thresholds. This approach was implemented on several hundred acres of pear using an increased density of traps baited with a lure attractive to both moth sexes. Portions of orchards were sprayed when the threshold for either total or female moths were exceeded. This approach reduced management costs for codling moth 40 to 60%. Expansion of this approach to other orchards including apple has the potential to reduce the acreage treated and management costs similarly throughout the western fruit-growing regions.

5. Evaluation of Brown Sugar and Hot Water Methods For Detecting Cherry Fruit Fly Larvae in Cherries. Packinghouses in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. use two methods to detect infestations by cherry fruit fly larvae in cherries destined for export, but no evaluations of these methods have been conducted. ARS researchers at Wapato, WA conducted a study to determine the efficacy of the brown sugar flotation and hot water methods for detecting larvae in cherries. It was determined that the brown sugar method resulted in 97% detection of larvae whereas the hot water method resulted in 84% detection. The work shows that the brown sugar method may be more reliable for detection, but that improvements in the method should be pursued to further increase the efficacy of this method so that it can be used to maintain export markets.

6. Formulation of nematodes and fungi for codling moth control. Codling moth is the most serious pest of apple and pear in the Pacific Northwest. No methods for control of its overwintering stage are currently used. Control of this stage of the moth could reduce or eliminate the emergence of moths in the spring. Insect-specific nematodes are effective control agents of this stage but they will die rapidly if not kept moist. Scientists at the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory have developed anti-desiccant adjuvants that significantly improve the survival and insecticidal activity of nematodes for control of overwintering larvae of codling moth.


Review Publications
Knight, A.L. 2010. Increased Catch of Female Codling Moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in Kairomone-baited Clear Delta Traps. Environmental Entomology. 39(2): 583-590.

Yee, W.L., Chapman, P.S., Sheets, D., Unruh, T.R. 2009. Analysis of Body Measurements and Wing Shape to Discriminate Rhagoletis pomonella and Rhagoletis zephyria (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Washington state. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 102(6):1013-1028.

Jones, V.P., Unruh, T.R., Horton, D.R., Mills, N.J., Brunner, J.F., Beers, E.H., Shearer, P.W. 2009. Tree Fruit IPM Programs in the Western United States: The Challenge of Enhancing Biological Control through Intensive Management. Pest Management Science. 65:1305-1310. www.interscience.wiley.com DOI 10.1002/ps. 1839.

Landolt, P.J., Lowery, T., Wright, L.C., Smithhisler, C., Guedot, C.N., James, D.G. 2010. Trap Response of Abagrotis orbis (Grote) Cutworm Moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to a Sex Attractant Lure in Grape Vineyards. The Canadian Entomologist. 142:135-142.

Yee, W.L., Lacey, L.A., Bray Bishop, B.J. 2009. Pupal Mortality and Adult Emergence of Western Cherry Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) Exposed to the Fungus Muscodor albus (Xylariales: Xylariaceae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 102(6):2041-2047.

Lewis, T.M., Lattin, J.D. 2010. Orius (Heterorius) vicinus (Ribaut)(Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) in western North America, a Correction of the Past. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 112(1), pp 69-80.

Yee, W.L. 2010. Oviposition in Sweet Cherry by Reproductively Mature Western Cherry Fruit Fly (Tephritidae:Diptera) Fed Spinosad and Neonicotinoid Insecticide Baits. Journal of Economic Entomology. 103(2):379-385.

Reed, H.C., Landolt, P.J. 2009. Ants, Wasps, and Bees (Hymenoptera). pp. 371-396. In: Mullen, G.R. and L.A. Durden (eds). Medical and Veterinary Entomology (2nd edition). Academic Press, New York. Book Chapter.

Ferguson, H.J., Neven, L.G., Thibault, S., Mohammed, A., Fraser, M. 2011. Genetic Transformation of the Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella L., with piggyBac EGFP. Insect Molecular Biology. 20:201-214.

Guedot, C.N., Millar, J.G., Horton, D.R., Landolt, P.J. 2009. Identification of a Sex Attractant Pheromone for Male Winterform Pear Psylla, Cacopsylla pyricola. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 35:1437-1447.

Wanner, K.W., Nichols, A.S., Allen, J.E., Bunger, P., Garczynski, S.F., Linn, C.J., Robertson, H.M., Luetje, C.W. 2010. Sex Pheromone Receptor Specificity in the European Corn Borer Moth, Ostrinia nubilalis. PLoS One. 5(1):e8685. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008685.

Cossentine, J., Judd, G., Bissett, J., Lacey, L.A. 2010. Susceptibility of Apple Clearwing Moth Larvae, Synanthedon myopaeformis (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) to Beauveria basiana and Metarhizium brunneum. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 20:703-707.

Zack, R.S., Landolt, P.J., Strenge, D. 2009. Goat Moths (Lepidoptera: Cossidae) of the Hanford Site and Hanford National Monument, Washington State. Pan Pacific Entomology. 85(4):182-186.

Neven, L.G. 2010. Postharvest Management of Insects in Horticultural Products by Conventional and Organic Means, Primarily for Quarantine Purposes. Stewart Postharvest Review, pp 1-11.

Horton, D.R., Lewis, T.M. 2009. Anthocoris Confusus Collected from Western Washington State, with a Summary of North American Records (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Anthocoridae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 111(3):609-616.

Neven, L.G., Hansen, L.D. 2010. Effects of Temperature and Controlled Atmospheres on Codling Moth Metabolism. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 103(3):418-423.

Willett, M.J., Neven, L.G., Miller, C.E. 2009. The Occurrence of Codling Moth in Low Latitude Countries: Validation of Pest Distribution Reports. HortTechnology. 19(3):633-637.

Arthur, F.H., Johnson, J.A., Neven, L.G., Hallman, G.J., Follett, P.A. 2009. Insect Pest Management in Postharvest Ecosystems in the United States of America. Outlooks on Pest Management. 20: 279-284.

Yee, W.L. 2009. Reduction in Emergence of Rhagoletis indifferens (Diptera: Tephritidae) from Sweet Cherries with Different Egg and Larval Distributions Using Newer Insecticides. Journal of Entomological Science. 44(3):1-17.

Wright, L.C., James, D.G., Reyna, V., Castle Del Conte, S., Gingras, S., Landolt, P.J., Brooks, T. 2010. Species Composition of Cutworm Larvae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in South Central Washington Vineyards. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 103(4):592-596.

Lacey, L.A., Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Glenn, G.M. 2010. Post-Application of Anti-Desiccant Agents Improves Efficacy of Entomopathogenic Nematodes in Formulated Host Cadavers or Aqueous Suspension Against Diapausing Codling Moth Larvae (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Biocontrol Science and Technology. Vol 20:909-921.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page