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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

2010 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 1 of this in-house project: Determine the efficacy of biological control agents in suppressing pecan and peach insect pests, thereby reducing reliance upon chemical insecticides. Plum curculio is a key pest of stone and pome fruits. The project is aimed at developing an advanced integrated pest management system for control of plum curculio. The management system will include use of insect attractants, selected chemicals, sentinel trap trees, and a biological control agent (entomopathogenic nematodes). Thus far, the ADODR at Byron station has initiated extensive screening program to determine the best nematode for use in various soils and temperatures. The project promises to reduce chemical inputs and enhance sustainable agriculture.

Progress of the project was monitored by the ADODR via e-mails, meeting with partners, and site visits.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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