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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Manipulating Host and Mate-Finding Behavior of the Plum Curculio: Development of a Multi-Lifestage Mgmt Strategy for a Key Tree Fruit

Location: Fruit and Nut Research

2013 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
In this project our overall objective is to develop and optimize strategies for using entomopathogenic nematodes for plum curculio. Specifically we will conduct laboratory screening of entomopathogenic nematode susceptibility of plum curculio and oversee field studies with entomopathogenic nematodes targeting this pest.

1b.Approach (from AD-416):
We will screen plum curculio in the laboratory for susceptibility to insect-killing nematodes. We will assist in overseeing implementation of field studies testing these nematodes. Briefly, we will conduct a series of laboratory assays to screen virulence among a variety of entomopathogenic nematode species and strains. Assays will be conducted at various temperatures that mirror those in the orchard. The most promising nematodes will be field tested for efficacy in suppressing plum curculio under trap-trees. Specialty Crops Research Initiative.

3.Progress Report:

This project relates to Objective 3 of this in house project - Develop alternative control strategies for key peach pests (plum curculio, peachtree borers, and stink bugs).

Plum curculio is a key pest of stone and pome fruits. The project is aimed at developing an advanced pest management system for control of plum curculio. Thus, far, the Byron station has completed an extensive screening program to determine the best nematode for plum curculio control; and also completed the second year of field trials testing the most promising nematode species. The project promises to reduce chemical inputs and enhance sustainable agriculture.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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