Project Number: 6036-22000-031-01
Start Date: Apr 01, 2012
End Date: Apr 01, 2017
A principle obstacle to better control the disease-vectoring thrips and whiteflies is the lack of information concerning weeds, sometimes invasive, pathogen reserviors, and the movements of insects between these reservoirs and crops. There is also a dearth of knowledge on natural enemies and their impact in crop and non-crop situations. The cooperator will develop new methods, including genetic, that will determine the presence of infections and the consequeances of infection on insect behavior and ecology, and the spread of disease. Subsequently, the efficacies of biological control agens, of both plant reservoirs and pests, will be screened in collaboration with the Principal Investigator. The cooperator and the ADODR will also examine the dispersal behavior and efficacy of sterile males of the invasive cactus moth to optimize release strategies and will develop other tactics to prevent its further spread. Techniques will include mark-recapture and measures of physiological flight capacity. The potential of other control approaches especially, biological control will also be examined.