1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To determine infection rates among species of white grub complex, compare formulations for efficacy, and evaluate application timing and application rates.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
White grubs are pests of turf because they feed on roots of grass plants and are typically controlled by the application of chemical insecticides. This project evaluates fungal biopesticides made with Metarhizium anisopliae as an alternative to chemical control. The unique aspect of this proposal is that the fungus is applied in a unique form. Recent discoveries using liquid fermentation techniques have resulted in production of a fungal structure known as microsclerotia. This structure can be formulated for application to soil environments where the microsclerotia germinate and each produced many infective conidial spores. Objectives include. 1)determining relative susceptibility of three common grub species to the fungus,. 2)compare formulations of the fungal biopesticides for control efficacy when applied under field conditions, and. 3)determine rates and timing of applications for optimal grub control under field conditions.
The first phase of field plots with ARS Crop Bioprotection Research Unit scientists at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), Peoria, Illinois, demonstrated the need to control pest infestation to provide uniform insect pressure for evaluation. As a result, simple cages have been constructed to confine specific numbers of field collected adults in defined research plots. In the laboratory, Japanese beetle larvae and pupae were shown to be susceptible to infection by Metarhizium anisopliae (Ma) conidia relative to dosage. Results of the Specific Cooperative Agreement (SCA) (Project Number 3620-22410-014-04S) established with Purdue University for field evaluation of sample formulations containing microsclerocia will be presented under that agreement.