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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Specifically, we will: (1) isolate and identify attractive olfactory stimuli associated with host- and mate-finding for adult plum curculio using gas chromatography coupled with electroantennogram detection (GC-EAD) and mass spectrometry (MS); (2) develop effective deployment strategies for newly identified olfactory stimuli to manipulate host- and mate-finding behavior and promote aggregation of the plum curculio within commercial apple orchards; (3) evaluate efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes against PC larvae; (4) evaluate efficacy of a multi-life stage approach for management of PC within spatially precise locations within commercial apple orchards; and (5) actively promote outreach and information exchange among interested stakeholders, crop consultants, state IPM research and extension programs, and federal researchers.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
We will utilize laboratory-based electrophysiological studies and field-based bioassays to identify novel olfactory stimuli for the plum curculio. We will also perform laboratory- and field-based studies to identify effective entomopathogenic nematodes. Final evaluations will be conducted in commercial orchards. "Specialty Crops Research Initiative".

3. Progress Report:
Continued to evaluate the response of plum curculio (PC) to candidate stimuli identified by either headspace isolation from males or host plant volatiles under laboratory and field studies. Field studies expanded upon the studies conducted in Years 1 and 2, wherein, our aim is to improve aggregation of PCs into specific baited border-row trees targeted for subsequent chemical control. Toward this, we formulated attractants based on the standard bait combination and compared this with baits with amplified pheromone loading. A second approach to improve aggregation included deploying standard attractive baits in baited trap trees targeted for control in combination with surrounding trees baited with a potential repellent. To evaluate levels of PC aggregation in all experimental plots, we assessed fruit injury (PC oviposition scars) in baited versus unbaited subplots using sampling guidelines established in Year 1. In addition, we identified candidate insecticides for use as chemical control agents for baited perimeter row trees. Completed field evaluations of promising entomopathogenic nematode strains Steinernema feltiae and S. riobrave, in Massachusetts and West Virginia, and manipulated abiotic conditions of field trials within the ranges found from soil climate monitoring in cooperating commercial orchards in Years 1 and 2 of this project. Continued to expand the web site that serves as a repository of information generated by and tangential to this project. We participated in outreach and delivery of information among stakeholder groups by hosting an annual meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel, participating in on-farm demonstrations for apple growers in New England, and formally presenting research results at both pre-season and mid-season grower meetings in affected states.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 05/22/2017
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