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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Control of Minor Crop Pests and Diseases

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. The objectives of this cooperative agreement are to develop economical and environmentally friendly pest and disease management strategies for Hawaii’s economically important and potentially important crops, all classified as minor crops. 2. Develop and implement multidisciplinary biologically based pest/disease management technologies which are environmentally acceptable and have low cost/benefit ratios. • Vectored vegetable and fruit viruses. • Management of insect pests and diseases to meet yield, quality, and quarantine standards. 3. Analyze and evaluate the significance of current disease and pest management strategies and policies, and develop changes in strategy or new policies that will "level the playing field" with competitors (e.g. quarantine regulations, U.S. governmental assistance to foreign countries, proprietary information, pesticide regulations, and the export of competitive technology).


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The approach to this project is to address the development of economical and environmentally friendly pest and disease management strategies for Hawaii’s economically important and potentially important crops. Utilize traditional breeding techniques and genetic engineering to develop horticulturally acceptable cultivars resistant to major disease and insects of Hawaii’s most important crops. Develop pre-harvest and post-harvest disease and insect management systems for Hawaii’s most important crops that are environmentally acceptable and have low cost/benefit ratios. Identify and characterize any environmental, social and economic impacts of technologies and processes for pest and disease control in order to allow the production and interstate and international movement of Hawaii agricultural products. Analyze and evaluate the significance of current disease and pest management strategies and policies, and develop changes in strategy or new policies that will “level the playing field” with competitors (e.g. quarantine regulations, U.S. governmental assistance to foreign countries, proprietary information, pesticide regulations, and the export of competitive technology. Documents SCA with University of Hawaii; formerly 5320-22430-021-06S (8/09).


3.Progress Report

The agreement was established in support of the Objective of the in-house project, the goal being to develop environmentally acceptable and economically feasible systems for detection, control, suppression, and eradication of fruit flies and other insect pests associated with tropical fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals.

The biological control agent, Binodoxys communis, was successfully imported from Minnesota to aid in the control of the melon aphid, Aphis gossypii, and the corn planthopper, Peregrinus maidis, in Hawaii. This new parasitoid has become well established in taro fields and corn fields in Hawaii. To study the probability of maize mosaic virus (MMV) transmission by P. maidis, a direct injection of MMV into P. maidis enhanced the transmission to 80% from 30% through feeding.

Attempts were made to confirm the presence of the citrus blight virus in Hawaii. The results showed that double-stranded RNAs of 8 kbp and 3 kbp were present in citrus trees in Hawaii, indicating that it is a distinct virus. The 8 kbp dsRNA was fully sequenced and was found distantly related to the 9 kb RNA of CiLV-C, which further indicates that it is a distinct virus.

Studies showed that the light brown apply moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana, occurs in very restricted, relatively wet and cool zones in Hawaii. Based on the data, the current quarantine restrictions imposed against agricultural products from Hawaii would not be necessary. Products originating from New Zealand or Australia are the possible source of LBAM infestations in California.

An IPM strategy for managing Cryptophlebia spp. in macademia orchards was developed by using pheromone provided by IscaTech and release of Trichogramma papilionis at ~250,000 per acre in Pahala macadamia nut orchards. Thus far, no parasitized Cryptophlebia eggs were recovered after the release. Attempts will be made to enhance T. papilionis establishment in the orchards to minimize Cryptophlebia damage.

The project is monitored through meetings, progress reports, on-site visits, and telephone and email communications.


Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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