Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NEW APPROACHES FOR INSECT PEST MANAGEMENT IN VEGETABLE CROPS
2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
Insects affect the production of all vegetable crops, and the insect species included in this project represent some of the most important pests of commercially grown vegetables. Most commercial vegetable cultivars have little resistance to insect pests, and growers typically protect these high-value crops from economic damage by using chemical insecticides. However, there are many concerns about using insecticides, including potential residues in food, negative environmental impacts, difficulties in implementing worker protection standards, and high production costs. Also, many insecticides have become unavailable to growers due to registration cancellations or the target pests have developed resistance to these chemicals. Therefore, there is a critical need for research on new, non-insecticidal control approaches that provide safe, effective, economical, and environmentally sound pest management techniques for vegetable growers. To meet these challenges, we are conducting research on biologically-based insect control techniques and their effective implementation into sustainable pest management systems. Approaches such as host plant resistance, biological control, semiochemicals, and biorational insecticides are being developed for integration into vegetable production systems. Research is needed on cultural controls, population suppression techniques, trap monitoring systems to aid in pest control decisions, and development of other non-insecticidal management technologies. The focus of this research project is control strategies for several key insect pests that attack cucurbits, cole crops, tomatoes, peppers, and sweetpotatoes. These key pest species include sweetpotato whitefly B-biotype (= silverleaf whitefly), pickleworm, melonworm, cucumber beetles, and soil insect pests of sweetpotato. This project contributes to National Program 304, Crop Protection and Quarantine (100%). The project specifically addresses Problem A (Traditional Biological Control), Problem B (Breeding for Host Plant Resistance), Problem C (Physical/Mechanical and Cultural Control), and Problem D (Other Biologically Based Control) in Component V, Pest Control Technologies; and Problem A (Sampling Methods, Detection, and Monitoring) and Problem C (Development of IPM Systems) in Component VI, Integrated Pest Management and Areawide Suppression.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
Year 1 (FY 2006) 1. Milestone: Evaluate sources of resistance in melons (cantaloupe and watermelon) against sweetpotato whiteflies, and determine the heritability of resistance to whitefly on watermelon. Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue on-going screening of PIs for whitefly resistance; produce S1 resistant plants.

2. Milestone: Evaluate new sources of resistance against insect pests of sweetpotato and facilitate the incorporation of known resistance sources into advanced sweetpotato breeding lines. Anticipated Accomplishment: Evaluate plant introductions, 1st year, 2nd year, intermediate, advanced, and regional sweetpotato clones for insect resistance in field.

3. Milestone: Determine mechanisms of resistance from sweetpotato periderm and cortex. Anticipated Accomplishment: Bioassay peels (periderm + cortex) of potentially resistant sweetpotato clones against adult and larval Diabrotica.

4. Milestone: Investigate influence of legumes on Encarsia and Eretmocerus species. Anticipated Accomplishment: Evaluate several leguminous plant species on parasitoids.

5. Milestone: Assess whitefly/aphid predators, Engytatus modestus and Delphastus catalinae. Anticipated Accomplishment: Evaluate E. modestus food preference; conduct D. catalinae over wintering study.

6. Milestone: Assessment of baculoviruses against insect pests of cucurbits and sweetpotato. Anticipated Accomplishment: Initial bioassays of baculoviruses against pickleworm and melonworm larvae.

7. Milestone: Develop new trapping techniques for pickleworm moths, melonworm moths, cucumber beetles, sweetpotato weevils and whiteflies, using pheromones, kairomones, and light emitting diodes (LED). Anticipated Accomplishment: Test new traps (including LED modified sticky cards), pheromones, and kairomones in the field, investigate alternate uses of kairomones in IPM.

8. Milestone: Evaluate a killed-cover crop system for sweetpotato. Anticipated Accomplishment: Plant sweetpotatoes, into killed cover crop mulching system and assess impact on insect pests and beneficial arthropods.

Year 2 (FY 2007) 1. Milestone: Evaluate sources of resistance in melons (cantaloupe and watermelon) against sweetpotato whiteflies, and determine the heritability of resistance to whitefly on watermelon. Anticipated Accomplishment: Evaluate S1 plants; produce S2 resistant plants; evaluate testcross population for whitefly resistance.

2. Milestone: Evaluate new sources of resistance against insect pests of sweetpotato and facilitate the incorporation of known resistance sources into advanced sweetpotato breeding lines. Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue evaluation of sweetpotato clones for pest resistance in the field.

3. Milestone: Determine mechanisms of resistance from sweetpotato periderm and cortex. Anticipated Accomplishment: Repeat bioassays of peels of resistant sweetpotato clones against Diabrotica.

4. Milestone: Investigate influence of legumes on Encarsia and Eretmocerus species. Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue evaluation of leguminous plant species on parasitoids.

5. Milestone: Assess whitefly/aphid predators, Engytatus modestus and Delphastus catalinae. Anticipated Accomplishment: Repeat evaluation of E. modestus food preference; complete D. catalinae over wintering study.

6. Milestone: Assessment of baculoviruses against insect pests of cucurbits and sweetpotato. Anticipated Accomplishment: Increase virulence of baculoviruses by passing them through hosts; publish bioassay data.

7. Milestone: Develop new trapping techniques for pickleworm moths, melonworm moths, cucumber beetles, sweetpotato weevils and whiteflies, using pheromones, kairomones, and light emitting diodes (LED). Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue testing of new traps, pheromones, and kairomones, and evaluate new uses.

8. Milestone: Evaluate a killed-cover crop system for sweetpotato: Repeat experiments.

Year 3 (FY 2008) 1. Milestone: Evaluate sources of resistance in melons (cantaloupe and watermelon) against sweetpotato whiteflies, and determine the heritability of resistance to whitefly on watermelon. Anticipated Accomplishment: Evaluate S2 plants and develop S3 resistant plants; continue to evaluate genetic population & determine inheritance of resistance

2. Milestone: Evaluate new sources of resistance against insect pests of sweetpotato and facilitate the incorporation of known resistance sources into advanced sweetpotato breeding lines. Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue evaluation of sweetpotato clones for pest resistance in the field; release resistant breeding lines or cultivars.

3. Milestone: Determine mechanisms of resistance from sweetpotato periderm and cortex. Anticipated Accomplishment: Publish results of bioassays of peels; isolate and bioassay components from sweetpotato periderm and cortex.

4. Milestone: Investigate influence of legumes on Encarsia and Eretmocerus species. Anticipated Accomplishment: Select most promising leguminous plant species for field evaluation.

5. Milestone: Assess whitefly/aphid predators, Engytatus modestus and Delphastus catalinae. Anticipated Accomplishment: Determine life history of E. modestus; determine effects of humidity on D. catalinae.

6. Milestone: Assessment of baculoviruses against insect pests of cucurbits and sweetpotato. Anticipated Accomplishment: Develop methods for large scale production of enhanced baculoviruses for field testing.

7. Milestone: Develop new trapping techniques for pickleworm moths, melonworm moths, cucumber beetles, sweetpotato weevils and whiteflies, using pheromones, kairomones, and light emitting diodes (LED). Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue testing of new traps, pheromones, and kairomones, and evaluate new uses.

8. Milestone: Evaluate a killed-cover crop system for sweetpotato. Anticipated Accomplishment: Analyze data and publish results.

Year 4 (FY 2009) 1. Milestone: Evaluate sources of resistance in melons (cantaloupe and watermelon) against sweetpotato whiteflies, and determine the heritability of resistance to whitefly on watermelon. Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue to evaluate population; start constructing linkage map to identify markers linked to whitefly resistance.

2. Milestone: Evaluate new sources of resistance against insect pests of sweetpotato and facilitate the incorporation of known resistance sources into advanced sweetpotato breeding lines. Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue evaluation of sweetpotato clones for pest resistance in the field.

3. Milestone: Determine mechanisms of resistance from sweetpotato periderm and cortex. Anticipated Accomplishment: Repeat bioassays of periderm and cortex components.

4. Milestone: Investigate influence of legumes on Encarsia and Eretmocerus species. Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue field evaluation.

5. Milestone: Assess whitefly/aphid predators, Engytatus modestus and Delphastus catalinae. Anticipated Accomplishment: Repeat evaluations of E. modestus life history; complete catalinae egg laying tests.

6. Milestone: Assessment of baculoviruses against insect pests of cucurbits and sweetpotato. Anticipated Accomplishment: Field-test baculoviruses against pickleworm and/or melonworm larvae.

7. Milestone: Develop new trapping techniques for pickleworm moths, melonworm moths, cucumber beetles, sweetpotato weevils and whiteflies, using pheromones, kairomones, and light emitting diodes (LED). Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue testing of new traps, pheromones, and kairomones, and evaluate new uses.

Year 5 (FY 2010) 1. Milestone: Evaluate sources of resistance in melons (cantaloupe and watermelon) against sweetpotato whiteflies, and determine the heritability of resistance to whitefly on watermelon. Anticipated Accomplishment: Identify markers linked to whitefly resistance; publish results.

2. Milestone: Evaluate new sources of resistance against insect pests of sweetpotato and facilitate the incorporation of known resistance sources into advanced sweetpotato breeding lines. Anticipated Accomplishment: Continue evaluation of sweetpotato clones for pest resistance in the field; release resistant breeding lines or cultivars.

3. Milestone: Determine mechanisms of resistance from sweetpotato periderm and cortex. Anticipated Accomplishment: Complete studies of bioassays of periderm and cortex components and publish results.

4. Milestone: Investigate influence of legumes on Encarsia and Eretmocerus species. Anticipated Accomplishment: Publish results.

5. Milestone: Assess whitefly/aphid predators, Engytatus modestus and Delphastus catalinae. Anticipated Accomplishment: Publish results of E. modestus studies and whitefly predator’s survey.

6. Milestone: Assessment of baculoviruses against insect pests of cucurbits and sweetpotato. Anticipated Accomplishment: Repeat field test and publish data.

7. Milestone: Develop new trapping techniques for pickleworm moths, melonworm moths, cucumber beetles, sweetpotato weevils and whiteflies, using pheromones, kairomones, and light emitting diodes (LED). Anticipated Accomplishment: Analyze and publish results.


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
None - first year of project.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
The Q biotype of the sweetpotato whitefly, an important pest of vegetables, was found for the first time in South Carolina. This accomplishment is aligned under NP304, VI (Integrated Pest Management and Areawide Suppression), A (Sampling Methods, Detection, and Monitoring).

As part of the on-going sweetpotato breeding program at the US Vegetable Laboratory (USVL), several hundred sweetpotato clones were evaluated for damage by soil insect pests. In that process, several first-year seedlings, second-year seedlings, intermediate clones, and advanced clones were identified as being resistant to insect pests. These clones were also evaluated for yield, quality, and disease resistance. This accomplishment is aligned under NP304, V (Pest Control Technologies), B (Breeding and Host Plant Resistance).

In cooperation with a research geneticist, USV-220, a novel watermelon breeding line was released. This breeding line will be useful to melon breeders in this country. This accomplishment is aligned under NP304, V (Pest Control Technologies), B (Breeding and Host Plant Resistance).


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
A. Simmons participated as a research collaborator on a capacity building grant with Kentucky State University (”Natural Capsaicinoids: alternative pesticides for organic growers”).

M. Jackson participated as a research collaborator on capacity building grant with Tuskegee University (CRIS Project No. ALX-JACKAI, Studies on the spread and possible existence of intra specific variation of the sweet potato weevil in the southern United States).

A. Simmons served as ARS, IR-4 Liaison Representative for the Southern Region in Entomology and attended annual Liaison Meeting and a Food Use Workshop.

A. Simmons gave an invited talk and served on a panel in a workshop at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference.


4d.Progress report.
None.


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
Research was conducted which identified the usefulness of floral nectars in the enhancement of parasites of the diamondback moth. This accomplishment is aligned under NP304, V (Pest Control Technologies), A (Traditional Biological Control).

Preliminary results on research with sticky card traps modified with light-emitting diodes indicate that the traps may be useful for the development of low-cost monitoring traps for whiteflies in the greenhouse. These findings are immediately useful to the scientific community, but still needs further development to integrate into pest management strategies for vegetable growers. This accomplishment is aligned under NP304, VI (Integrated Pest Management and Areawide Suppression), A (Sampling Methods, Detection, and Monitoring).

Several trap designs were evaluated for monitoring squash vine borers and sweetpotato weevils. A trap monitoring system for Diabrotica beetles in sweetpotato and mixed cucurbits was evaluated over a three year period, which will provide information leading to the development of better pest management information for cucurbit vegetable growers so that unnecessary pesticides can be reduced. This accomplishment is aligned under NP304, VI (Integrated Pest Management and Areawide Suppression), A (Sampling Methods, Detection, and Monitoring).

Public releases of two watermelon breeding lines and two sweetpotato breeding lines were made. This accomplishment is aligned under NP304, V (Pest Control Technologies), B (Breeding and Host Plant Resistance).

A reduced tillage system for growing sweetpotatoes in a killed cover crop was evaluated for two years. Yield and quality of sweetpotatoes in this system were similar to those grown in a conventional tillage system. This accomplishment is aligned under NP304, VI (Integrated Pest Management and Areawide Suppression), C (Developing IPM Systems).


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
In cooperation with a research geneticist, USV-220, a novel watermelon breeding line was released. This breeding line will be helpful to melon breeders in this country. In cooperation with a research geneticist, W-311 and W-361, multiple pest resistant orange fleshed sweetpotato breeding lines were released. These breeding lines will be helpful to sweetpotato breeders in this country. In cooperation with a research geneticist, Charleston Scarlet, a very sweet, orange fleshed sweetpotato, with high resistance to insects was released. This variety will be helpful to US sweetpotato breeders and producers.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Anonymous. 2005. Vegetable breeding moves to next level. Charleston Regional Development Alliance. http://www.crda.org/news_article.shtml.

Bohac, J.R., Olczyk, T., Simonne, E.H., Jackson, D.M., Nagata, R.T. 2006. Development of multiple pest-resistant sweetpotatoes for organic production and for new uses by ARS and IFAS. Presentation, 2006 Joint Meet. Fla. State Hortic. Soc. & Soil Crop Sci. Soc. Fla., June 4-6, 2006, Tampa, FL.

Jackson, D.M. 2006. Sweetpotato weevil. USDA, Seminar, US Vegetable Laboratory, March 1, 2006.

Jackson, D.M. 2005. Insects and National Security Issues. Presentation, 51st Annu. Meet. S. C. Entomol. Soc., Oct. 13-14, 2005, Charleston, SC.

Jackson, D.M. 2005. Refinements in pickleworm and melonworm trap monitoring. Poster, 51st Annu. Meet. S. C. Entomol. Soc., Oct. 13-14, 2005, Charleston, SC.

Jackson, D.M., Bohac, J.R. 2006. Breeding for resistance to the sweetpotato weevil: What is needed. Presentation, Nat. Sweetpotato Collaborators Meet., Feb. 4-5, 2006, Orlando, FL.

Jackson, D.M., Bohac, J.R. 2006. Evaluation of multiple pest resistant sweetpotato genotypes using field and laboratory studies. Presentation, Internat. Plant Resistance to Insects, 17th Bienn. Workshop, April 9-12, 2006, West Lafayette, IN.

Jackson, D.M., Bohac, J.R. 2006. Improved pest-resistant dry-fleshed sweetpotato genotypes. Poster, Internat. Plant Resistance to Insects, 17th Bienn. Workshop, April 9-12, 2006, West Lafayette, IN.

Jackson, D.M., Canhilal, R., Carner, G.R. 2006. Trapping squash vine borers in cucurbits. Poster, 80th Annu. Meet. SE Branch ESA, March 5-8, 2006, Wilmington, NC.

Lopez, R., Levi, A., Shepard, B.M., Jackson, D.M., Simmons, A.M. 2005. Attraction of herbivores to watermelon cultivars and related Citrullus spp. Presentation, 51st Annu. Meet. S. C. Entomol. Soc., Oct. 13-14, 2005, Charleston, SC.

Miller, J.P. 2006. Scientists on quest for best fruits and veggies. In The Post and Courier, June 14, pg. 8B.

Pons, L. 2005. Vegetable breeding steps up to the next level. Agriculture Research, 53(12):14-16.

Pons, L. 2006. Vegetable breeding steps up to the next level. International Pest Control. 48: 90-91.

Simmons, A.M. 2006. Vegetable research: U.S. Vegetable Laboratory. Presentation, Southern Sustainable Agric. Working Group: Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference, Jan. 19-22, January Louisville, KY.

Simmons, A.M., Levi, A., Davis, A., Ling, K.-S., Lopez, R., Jackson, D.M., Shepard, B.M., Thies, J. 2006. Wild germplasm for pest resistance in watermelon. Presentation, Internat. Plant Resistance to Insects, 17th Bienn. Workshop, April 9-12, 2006, West Lafayette, IN.

Simmons, A.M. 2006. Vegetable insects: healthy choices. Seminar. Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky. April 21, 2006, Lexington, KY.

Simmons, A.M., Legaspi, S. 2005. Can Delphastus catalinae, a predator of whiteflies, survive mild winters? Presentation, 53rd Annu. Meet. Entomol. Soc. Am., Dec. 14-18, 2005, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Simmons, A.M., Abd-Rabou, S. 2006. Whitefly parasitism after releases of Encarsia sophia in three vegetable crops. Presentation, 80th Annu. Meet. Southeastern Branch Entomol. Soc. Am., March 5-8, 2006, Wilmington, NC.


Review Publications
Antonious, G., Tejinder, K., Simmons, A.M. 2005. Natural products: seasonal variation in trichome counts and contents in lycopersicon hirsutum f. glabratum. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. 40:619-631.

Chu, C., Chen, T., Simmons, A.M., Alexander, P.J., Henneberry, T.J. 2005. Light-emitting diode equipped insect traps for monitoring pest insect in greenhouses and fields.. Caribbean Food Crops Society Proceedings pp. 106-113.

Jackai, L.E., Sosinski, B., Jackson, D.M., Sorensen, K.A., Bonsi, C.K., Ado-Bediako, Ali, R., Tameru, B., Quarcoo, F., Alvarez, M.N. 2006. Occurrence and intra-specific variation of sweetpotato weevil (Brentida: Coleoptera) in relation to its potential spread in southern United States of America and the Caribbean. Acta Horticulture Proceedings. 703:197-204.

Jackson, D.M., Canhilal, R., Carner, G.R. 2005. Trap monitoring squash vine borers in cucurbits. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology. 22:27-39.

Jackson, D.M. and J.R. Bohac. 2005. Adult and larval bioassays for determining resistance of sweetpotato genotypes to Diabrotica spp. [abstract] HortScience. 40:869.

Simmons, A.M., Abd-Rabou, S. 2005. Incidence of parasitism of bemisia tabaci (homoptera: aleyrodidae) in three vegtable crops after application of biorational insecticides. J. Entomol Science. 40:474-477.

Simmons, A.M., Abd-Rabou, S. 2005. Parasitism of Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Alyerodidae) after multiple releases of Encarsia sophia (Hymenoptera: aphelinidae) in three vegetable crops. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology. 22(2): 73-77.

Pullaro, T.C., Marino, P.C., Jackson, D.M., Harrison Jr, H.F., Keinath, A.P. 2006. Effects of killed cover crops mulch on weeds, weed seeds, and herbivores. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 115:97-104.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page