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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Microsporidia, Use and Application in Biological Control of Insects

Authors
item Becnel, James
item Becnel, James

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2002
Publication Date: April 7, 2002

Technical Abstract: The complex life cycles exhibited by microsporidian parasites of insects and the chronic nature of the infection precludes their use as biorational or chemical insecticides. The approach to utilizing microsporidia as part of a program to manage insects must rely on a thorough knowledge of the dynamics of the host-parasite relationship. It is crucial to look beyond short-term population reduction and instead, rely on the benefits of long- term abatement as part of an overall management strategy. The recognition and protection of seasonal epizootics would prevent disruption of the natural balance and control, thus maintaining the disease in the population. Additional relief could be expected due to a reduction in the survival, vigor and reproductive success of infected insects during other parts of the disease cycle. Utilizing microsporidia for the management of insects has been proposed not as a sole method but rather as part of the natural complex of regulatory factors utilized for classical biological control. This approach recognizes that eradication of the target insect is an unrealistic expectation but with a combination of physical, cultural, chemical and biological control methods, insect pests can regulated.

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2002
Publication Date: April 7, 2002

Technical Abstract: The complex life cycles exhibited by microsporidian parasites of insects and the chronic nature of the infection precludes their use as biorational or chemical insecticides. The approach to utilizing microsporidia as part of a program to manage insects must rely on a thorough knowledge of the dynamics of the host-parasite relationship. It is crucial to look beyond short-term population reduction and instead, rely on the benefits of long- term abatement as part of an overall management strategy. The recognition and protection of seasonal epizootics would prevent disruption of the natural balance and control, thus maintaining the disease in the population. Additional relief could be expected due to a reduction in the survival, vigor and reproductive success of infected insects during other parts of the disease cycle. Utilizing microsporidia for the management of insects has been proposed not as a sole method but rather as part of the natural complex of regulatory factors utilized for classical biological control. This approach recognizes that eradication of the target insect is an unrealistic expectation but with a combination of physical, cultural, chemical and biological control methods, insect pests can regulated.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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