Location: Biological Control of Pests Research
Project Number: 6066-22000-062-02-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: May 15, 2010
End Date: May 14, 2015
To develop and optimize a mass rearing system for Lygus (L.) lineolaris and L. hesperus, based on colloidal artificial diets and gelling materials for egg collection to produce sufficient adult insects to maintain a constant production of approximately 50,000 eggs per week at reasonable costs and the identification of biological proteins with potential utility in developing plants resistant to Lygus species.
Development of chemically defined colloidal artificial diets, designed to resemble different plant hosts, will involve detailed chemical analyses of the plants by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography (GC), Mass Spectrometry (MS), and Spectrophotometry. Based on the analysis, chemically defined artificial diets will be prepared by ARS. L. lineolaris and L. hesperus fed on the artificial diet formulations will be evaluated against L. lineolaris and L. hesperus reared on natural food sources, under controlled environmental conditions. Artificial diet formulations will be evaluated by measure of comparison of biological parameters such as developmental time, survivorship, sex ratio, fecundity, egg viability and longevity. Once an acceptable, colloidal formulation is identified biological proteins provided by cooperator will be incorporated in the formulation. The formulation then provided as diet to L. lineolaris and L. Hesperus and evaluated for deleterious effects on insect survival. Additionally, these biological proteins will be incorporated into water retaining agents at different concentrations to determine repellency levels. Development of the artificial diet based mass rearing systems will involve the optimization of mass production, dispensing, and egg collection.