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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIORATIONAL CONTROL METHODS FOR INSECT PESTS OF POTATO
2007 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Develop new knowledge of behavior, genetics, physiology, and ecology of wireworms, aphids, secondary potato pests, and their natural enemies, that provides opportunities for new and improved biorational control of potato insect pests. Objective 2: Develop monitoring methods and techniques that reduce grower risk from wireworms that improve predictability of threats to potatoes. Objective 3: Develop economical, sustainable, and ecologically sound methods for control of aphids, wireworms, and secondary pests of potatoes.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Objective 1.The seasonal phenology and movement of green peach aphid and leafhoppers in potato will be described quantitatively. Effects of induced defenses of potato on behavior, development, and reproduction by insect pests will be determined. Microbial flora resident in the midgut of wireworm larvae will be genetically altered (paratransgenesis) to produce physiological or toxic conditions that in turn will be detrimental to the survival of the wireworm. The role and concentrations of carbon dioxide as an attractant for Pacific coast wireworm and will be determined. Mating behavior of Limonius canus (Pacific coast wireworm) will be described. Objective 2. Baiting methods to monitor wireworms in potatoes will be developed, and the feasibility of using baits to predict end-of-season damage to tubers will be determined. The seasonal phenology of wireworm damage to tubers will be described to assist in management decisions. Objective 3. The effectiveness of transgenic and traditionally bred potato varieties for resistance to wireworms and secondary pests will be demonstrated. Methods to manage wireworms and potato flea beetle in potatoes using entomopathogens will be developed. Methods for enhancing biological control of green peach aphid will be improved, including use of habitat modification, selective insecticides, and predator attractants. Action thresholds for leafhoppers that vector phytoplasmas will be estimated. Extent of insecticide resistance in green peach aphid in the Northwest will be determined. Formerly 5352-22000-014-00D (3/05).


4.Accomplishments
Management of potato purple top disease in the Columbia Basin. An epidemic of purple top disease of potato occurred in the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon in 2002 and subsequent years and caused significant yield losses and reduced tuber quality. Studies at the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA, of the disease causal agents and vectors revealed that the disease was caused by the beet leafhopper virescence agent (BLTVA) phytoplasma and that the beet leafhopper was the vector. Studies also described the population dynamics of this insect vector in this region. Potato growers in the Columbia Basin have substantially minimized the losses due to this disease by focusing monitoring and control efforts on the beet leafhopper. NP 304 Component II: Biology of Pests & Natural Enemies, Problem Statement A: Basic Biology; Component III: Plant, Pest, & Natural Enemy Interactions & Ecology, Problem Statement A: Understanding the Complex Interactions

Pathogen effects on pests of potato tubers. Pacific coast wireworm, flea beetles, and potato tuber worms cause damage to tubers throughout Washington and Oregon and methods of control of these pests are limited. ARS Scientists at the Fruit and Vegetable Insect Research Unit in Wapato, WA, isolated fungi from wireworms, formulated and tested baits, and established flea beetle colonies and develop bioassays. The fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae, in a bait formulation, was assayed in lab and field trials. It was found that the larvae in the laboratory that were confined in moist soil became infected and the biofumigant, Muscodor albus was not detrimental to wireworms, but was lethal to potato tuber moth adults and larvae. These results suggest possible control options using pathogens against several insect pests of potato. NP 304 Component II: Biology of Pests & Natural Enemies (Microbes), Problem Statement A: Basic Biology; Component II: Plant, Pest, & Natural Enemy Interactions & Ecology, Problem Statement A: Understanding the Complex Interactions; Component V: Pest Control Technologies, Problem Statement A: Traditional Biological Control

New methods to measure aphid movement. Green peach aphid is the most important insect pest of potatoes and many other vegetables because it transmits a variety of diseases to these crops. Identifying the weedy reservoirs of potato diseases used by the aphid and identifying when diseases are spread to new potato fields is difficult because the aphid is very small and may spread diseases when the aphids are still in low abundance and not readily detected. Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA, developed a method to mark aphids on weedy plants using an inexpensive protein marker which allows use to spray large areas. The lab also developed a dry trapping method suitable for recapturing the aphids that retains the mark. This method should allow us to pinpoint weedy source of both aphids and diseases near new potato fields. Understanding sources of potato diseases vectored by the green peach aphid in the environment will allow two approaches to improved management:.
1)direct control of the weedy sources and.
2)improved timing of sprays for aphid control. NP 304 Component II: Biology of Pests & Natural Enemies (Microbes), Problem Statement A: Basic Biology; Component III: Plant, Pest, & Natural Interactions & Ecology, Problem Statement B: Population Studies/Ecology

Enhancing predation of green peach aphid in potatoes. The green peach aphid is a major pest of potato, especially because of damaging virus diseases it transmits to this crop. Studies at the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA, using lures with natural floral chemicals showed that predation of this insect pest could be enhanced by attracting beneficial insects in potato fields by deploying these lures. The use of these lures could greatly reduce the use of pesticides targeted against this insect pest in potatoes. NP 304 Component II: Biology of Pests & Natural Enemies (Microbes), Problem Statement A: Basic Biology; Component III: Plant, Pest, & Natural Enemy Interactions & Ecology, Problem Statement A: Understanding the Complex Interactions; Component V: Pest Control Technologies, Problem Statement A: Traditional Biological Control


5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
None.


6.Technology Transfer

Number of new CRADAs and MTAs1
Number of web sites managed1
Number of non-peer reviewed presentations and proceedings20
Number of newspaper articles and other presentations for non-science audiences9

Review Publications
De Camelo, L.A., Landolt, P.J., Zack, R.S. 2007. A kairomone based attract-and-kill system effective against alfalfa looper (lepidoptera: noctuidae).Journal of Economic Entomology. Vol. 100(2):366-374.

Landolt, P.J., Pantoja, A., Hagerty, A.M., Crabo, L., Green, D.L. 2007. Moths trapped in Alaska with feeding attractant lures and the seasonal flight patterns of potential agricultural pests. The Canadian Entomologist 139:278-291.

Landolt, P.J., Buchanan, C.L., Zack, R.S., Camelo, L. 2006. Attraction of Heliothis belladonna (Henry and Edwards) to the sex pheromone of the corn earworm moth, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Journal of Kansas Entomological Society. 79(4):303-308.

Munyaneza, J.E., Crosslin, J., Upton, J.E. 2007. Association of Bactericera cockerelli (Homoptera: Psyllidae) with 'Zebra Chip', a New Potato Disease in Southwestern United States and Mexico. Journal of Economic Entomology, Vol. 100(3): 656-663.

Crosslin, J., Vandemark, G.J., Munyaneza, J.E. 2006. Development of a real-time, quantitative PCR for detection of the Columbia Basin potato purple top phytoplasma in plants and beet leafhoppers. Plant Disease. 90:663-667.

Lee, I., Bottner, K.D., Munyaneza, J.E., Davis, R.E., Crosslin, J., Du Toit, L., Crosby, T. 2006. Carrot purple leaf: a new carrot disease associated with spiroplasma citri and phytoplasmas in Washington State. Plant Disease.90-989-993.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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