Project Number: 8042-22000-272-01
Start Date: Jan 25, 2010
End Date: Dec 31, 2014
The USDA Agricultural Research Service - Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory (USDA-ARS) maintains a colony of the lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata for study of its role in agroecosystems of interest. Since 2005. USDA-ARS has provided the only source of healthy C. maculata eggs to Monsanto Company for development of standardized diets that allow completion of C. maculata life cycle and the development of repeatable laboratory feeding studies. ARS has provided an agronomically relevant beneficial nontarget organism (NTO) test system for the evaluation of the safety of plant produced pesticidal substances of regulatory interest, such as proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), permitting continued development of harmonized laboratory Tier I maximum dose limit tests and plant tissue (e.g., corn pollen) feeding studies essential for the evaluation of the safety of plant-produced pesticidal substances for the development of environmental risk assessments. USDA-ARS will provide Monsanto a supply of approximately 1,000 eggs per month on average to allow Monsanto's development of in vitro rearing and laboratory bioassay methodologies. Monsanto will support, solely by the monetary contribution specified, the upkeep and development of the USDA-ARS in-vivo-fed colony to assist in the development of study protocols for evaluating potential effects of plant-incorporated protectants on survival, growth, and development of the non-target beneficial lady beetle C. maculata. USDA-ARS also uses this colony for field and lab behavior and ecology studies.