MANIPULATING HOST- AND MATE-FINDING BEHAVIOR OF THE PLUM CURCULIO: DEVELOPMENT OF A MULTI-LIFESTAGE MGMT STRATEGY FOR A KEY TREE FRUIT
Fruit and Nut Research
2012 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.
This project relates to Objective 3 of this in house project. 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 ARS PI at Byron station has completed an extensive screening program to determine the best nematode for plum curculio control; the first year of field trials testing these nematode species has been conducted. The project promises to reduce chemical inputs and enhance sustainable agriculture.