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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF ARTHROPOD PESTS OF PECAN AND PEACH Title: Microbial control of insect pests in temperate orchard systems: status and future prospects

Authors
item Shapiro Ilan, David
item Lacey, Lawrence

Submitted to: Society for Invertebrate Pathology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2008
Publication Date: September 1, 2008
Citation: Shapiro Ilan, D.I., Lacey, L.A. 2008. Microbial control of insect pests in temperate orchard systems: status and future prospects [abstract]. 41st Meeting of Society for Invertebrate Pathology, August 3-7, 2008, Warwick, UK. p. 92. Available: http://www.sipweb.org/Meeting_Abstracts/2008abstracts.pdf.

Interpretive Summary: Due to their selectivity and safety, microbial control agents (MCAs) are ready made components of sustainable pest management systems that will not pose a threat to applicators or the environment. Control of several orchard pest insects using MCAs, including viruses, bacteria, fungi and entomopathogenic (also called beneficia) nematodes have been demonstrated in apple, pear, stone fruits, citrus and several nut crops. The bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis is the most used MCA for control of lepidopteran orchard pests. Significant use of entomopathogenic nematodes in citrus for control of root weevils is also reported. The granulovirus of codling moth is increasingly being used in apple and pear by organic growers with interest also shown by conventional growers. We conclude that integrating MCAs into orchard IPM will have minimum impact on the actions of other natural enemies, and that comparison of MCAs with broad spectrum chemical pesticides should not be made strictly on a cost and efficacy basis but also on the spectrum of beneficial properties provided by MCAs. We predict that an increase in the efficacy of MCAs will be fostered through discovery of new strains, improvement of existing strains through molecular and non-molecular methods, superior application procedures, and improvement of environmental persistence through formulation and environmental manipulation.

Technical Abstract: Due to their selectivity and safety, microbial control agents (MCAs) are ready made components of IPM systems that will not pose a threat to applicators or the environment. Control of several orchard pest insects using MCAs, including viruses, Bacillus thuringiensis, fungi and entomopathogenic nematodes have been demonstrated in apple, pear, stone fruits, citrus and several nut crops. Bacillus thuringiensis is the most used MCA for control of lepidopteran orchard pests. Significant use of entomopathogenic nematodes in citrus for control of root weevils is also reported. The granulovirus of codling moth is increasingly being used in apple and pear by organic growers with interest also shown by conventional growers. We conclude that integrating MCAs into orchard IPM will have minimum impact on the actions of other natural enemies, and that comparison of MCAs with broad spectrum chemical pesticides should not be made strictly on a cost and efficacy basis but also on the spectrum of beneficial properties provided by MCAs. We predict that an increase in the efficacy of MCAs will be fostered through discovery of new strains, improvement of existing strains through molecular and non-molecular methods, superior application procedures, and improvement of environmental persistence through formulation and environmental manipulation.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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