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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Recent Advances in Formulating Bt and Other Microbials for Insect Control

item McGuire, Michael

Submitted to: Entomology International Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 25, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Formulation of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), viruses, fungi, and nematodes each present interesting and unusual challenges. Some of these agents are not palatable to insects, and sunlight and rainfall contribute to the loss of insecticidal activity in different ways. Formulation may alleviate these problems. Matrix-forming materials derived from cornstarch, corn flour, wheat gluten, casein, or lignin extend the residual activity of Bt significantly better than conventional formulations. These materials can be used in granular or sprayable formulations and are easily modified to fit the needs of a particular pest-crop situation. Granular formulations of Bt have been extensively tested against the European corn borer in field corn. In rainy weather, Bt formulated in cornstarch stays longer in the whorl of the plant than Bt formulated conventionally. Sprayable formulations have been tested on cabbage against diamondback moth infestations and residual activity measurements have been conducted against cabbage looper larvae. In both cases, matrix forming materials protected Bt from both rainfall and sunlight better than commercial formulations. Preliminary work conducted with these viruses suggests that not all the matrix-forming ingredients perform the same with respect to protection of viral activity, but that some may be suitable.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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