1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The project is aimed at identifying nematode species attacking the coffee berry borer in coffee plantations. The objective is to determine whether nematodes are important mortality factors in the field, and whether they can be used as biological control agents to reduce yield losses caused by the coffee berry borer.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS and Cooperator will gain new knowledge on previously unreported nematodes attacking the coffee berry borer. This information will be used by both parties to jointly determine if the discovered biological control agents can be used as tools against the coffee berry borer. The Cooperator will develop large-scale sampling protocols for assessing the presence of nematodes attacking the coffee berry borer.
Samples have been collected from 20 coffee plantations in the Soconusco region of Chiapas. More than 18,000 coffee berries have been processed, containing over 21,000 adult coffee berry borers of which 116 specimens were infected with nematodes. Identification of the nematodes is pending.