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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2007 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To accelerate and enhance the formulation of high performance insect diets that improve the fitness of mass reared insects used in research and insects used in the biological control of insect and weed pests by: .
1)improving the formulation of artificial diets and diet-delivery systems;.
2)determining the impact of nutrient substitutions on the efficiency of diet utilization; and.
3)developing genomic biomarkers to monitor fitness traits related to nutrition.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Formulation changes will be made to micronutrient levels and substitutions will be made for the fibrous, temperature sensitive and antibiotic materials in artificial diets as part of an empirical-based effort to improve artificial diets. Life history measurements will be used to assess the impact those dietary changes on the health of the insect. The impact of dietary component changes on the biochemical fate of nutrients will be monitored. Enzymatic activity and metabolism of nutrients will be used to assess the impact of dietary changes on the efficiency of nutrient absorbance and nutrient utilization. The use of genomic biomarkers as indicators of fitness for insects reared on diets varying in nutritional quality will be investigated. Differentially-expressed genes will be identified using suppressive subtractive hybridization and microarray analyses.

Diet Enhancement for Storage of Beneficial Insects. One of the primary impediments to marketing and use of insect natural enemies for biological control is the difficulty and expense of rearing and shipping these insects in sufficient numbers and quality during fluctuating seasons and sales. More efficient storage methods would substantially improve the options available to farmers and insectaries to respond to unpredictable demands. Results from our studies demonstrated that nutrition quality prior to storage significantly affected the tolerance of the spined soldier bug, a predatory beneficial insect, to periods of cold storage. An artificial diet was found to be superior to natural prey for the short-term storage of eggs and immatures commonly used for shipping and release purposes and natural prey was found to be the superior nutrition for long-term storage of adults commonly used for colony preservation between seasonal releases. This new information better situates farmers and insectaries to pre-condition insects prior to shipping, release and long-term storage which will result in a higher performance of biological control at a lower cost to the commercial and end-user sectors.

This accomplishment directly addresses a goal of NP 304 Action Plan, Part II, Section B (Rearing of Insect Mites) and Component V (Pest Control Technologies), Goal 2 (Efficient production of beneficial organisms used in BC).

5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
Scientists on this project have mentored two students from 1890 and 1994 institutions who were sponsored by MWA and BCIRL to participate in the University of Missouri undergraduate research scholars program. The research conducted by these scholars supported the project objectives.

Review Publications
Coudron, T.A., Yocum, G.D., Brandt, S.L. 2006. Nutrigenomics: a case study in the measurement of insect response to nutritional quality. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 121:1-14.

Coudron, T.A., Ellersieck, M.R., Shelby, K. 2007. Influence of diet on long-term cold storage of the predator Podisus maculiventris (Say) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae). Biological Control. 42(2):186-195.

Ball, O.J., Coudron, T.A., Tapper, B.A., Davies, E., Trently, D., Bush, L.P., Gwinn, K.D., Popay, A.J. 2006. The importance of host plant species, neotyphodium endophyte isolate, and alkaloids on feeding by Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: noctuidae) larvae. Journal of Economic Entomology. 99(4):1462-1473.

Li, J., Yan, F., Coudron, T.A., Pan, W., Zhang, X., Liu, X., Zhang, Q. 2006. Field release of mass-reared parasitoid Microplitis mediator (Hymenoptera: braconidae) for control of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: noctuidae) in cotton fields in northwestern China’s Xinjiang province. Environmental Entomology. 35(3):694:699.

Stanley, D.W. 2006. The non-venom insect phospholipases A2. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1761:1383-1390.

Li, J., Coudron, T.A., Pan, W., Liu, X., Zhang, Q. 2006. Host age preference of Microplitis mediator (Hymenoptera: braconidae), an endoparasitoid of Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: noctuidae). Biological Control. 39:257-261.

Last Modified: 3/3/2015
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