Project Number: 0500-00044-035-04-S
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2008
End Date: Jul 31, 2013
Determine the associations of navel orangeworm (NOW) (flight, oviposition, wounding of nuts by larvae and adult moths) with aflatoxigenic fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Also determine the ability of NOW to vector propagules of A. flavus/A. parasiticus, when nuts become susceptible to infestation by NOW, and compare the vectored fungi with those producing aflatoxins in nuts.
Larvae and pupae from nut mummies from the trees and the ground and NOW moths will be collected periodically from commercial pistachio and almond orchards and the insects plated on specific media to determine the levels of contamination. Strains of A. flavus/A. parasiticus isolated from NOW will be compared with those isolated from infected nuts. Pea size and crinkled pistachio (NOW-damaged and non-damaged, stained, and not stained) will be plated periodically to determine their infection by Aspergillus spp. To determine when nuts become susceptible to NOW, we will periodically bag pistachio clusters and almonds with NOW. All the isolates of S, L, and M strains of A. flavus and A. parasiticus will be identified based on previously published research.