Submitted to: Congress on In Vitro Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Edovum puttleri (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) has been used successfully as a biocontrol agent to control Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, (Coleoptera: Chryso melidae) populations on eggplant. Pesticide application is unnecessary, but the cost of rearing the wasp in large enough numbers for augmentative release is prohibitive. Therefore, our laboratory has undertaken studies to develop an artificial system for rearing this parasitoid in vitro. E. puttleri eggs removed from the host have been successfully reared to the prepupal stage on an artificial diet composed of bovine albumin, trehalose, chicken egg yolk, milk, and insect components (hemolymph and egg homogenate). An artificial egg made of plastic membrane was also developed. E. puttleri oviposited in the membrane eggs, but these wasp eggs did not undergo embryogenesis when transferred to artificial diet. Thus, although E. puttleri can be reared in vitro, the diet must be refined in order to support early embryogenesis and to promote pupation.