Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #420684

Research Project: Biorational Management of Insect Pests of Temperate Tree Fruits

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-22430-001-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Dec 28, 2010
End Date: Oct 25, 2015

Objective 1: Develop new knowledge of the behavior, genetics, systematics, physiology, ecology, and biochemistry of the insect pests of apple, pear, and cherry, and their natural enemies, that will aid in the discovery, development, and application of management methods and technologies. Sub-objective 1A: Evaluate habitat modifications and predation as factors in pest insect suppression. Sub objective 1B: Determine morphological characters that can be used to discriminate apple and snowberry maggot flies. Objective 2: Identify genes, receptor proteins, and respective ligands that are critical to codling moth development and reproduction. Objective 3: Discover and develop chemical attractants for codling moth, fruit flies, pear psylla, and other insect pests of temperate tree fruits and their natural enemies. Sub-objective 3A: Determine attractiveness of semiochemicals for codling moth and other pests. Sub-objective 3B: Optimize the pear psylla sex pheromone and other pest lures. Objective 4: Determine the impact of pest management and cultural practices on beneficial insects to improve biological control of the codling moth, pear psylla, and other insect pests of temperate tree fruits. Objective 5: Develop systems approaches involving combinations of various methods and technologies, both for management of codling moth in suburban and agricultural settings, and to reduce the probability of insects infesting fruit that is packed and shipped domestically and internationally. Sub-objective 5A: Implement a monitoring-intensive management program for codling moth that reduces the use of insecticides. Sub-objective 5B: Develop computer modeling of codling moth quarantine risk. Sub-objective 5C: Evaluate brown sugar and hot water methods for the detection of cherry fruit fly larvae in cherries. Objective 6: Develop applications of insect pathogens, attract and kill technology, and disruption techniques to control codling moth and other pests of temperate tree fruits. Sub-objective 6A: Develop attract and kill station designs for managing codling moth and other pests. Sub-Objective 6B: Develop applications of entomopathogens for control of codling moth.

Analysis of DNA sequences in the gut contents of arthropod predators in orchards will assess their consumption of orchard pests in order to rank their importance to biological control. Extra-orchard hedgerows of native plants will be studied for potential to improve overwintering of parasites and predators of orchard insect pests. A combination of morphological shapes will be used to determine best diagnostic traits for identifying problematic species of fruit flies. Protein receptors and their encoding genes will be identified, and their corresponding ligands will be determined in support of work to develop species specific behavioral and physiological modifying analogs for use in pest management. Chemical attractants from host plants of pest insects will be identified and developed as lures for traps and baits. Pear psylla pheromone will be developed as a lure for field use through comparison of pheromone formulations, doses, and trap designs. Sublethal and delayed effects of pesticides on spiders will be determined, including impact on spider reproduction. Information from global positioning systems will be used to identify, evaluate and manage pest hot spots in orchards. Traps baited with kairomonal attractants will be tested as a strategy to reduce codling moth populations in orchards, and manage codling moth populations through the removal of female moths captured in traps. The risks of introduction and establishment of codling moth in other countries will be modeled mathematically to determine important gaps in our knowledge of the pest biology. Sugar solutions will be tested as a means to float cherry fruit fly larvae from fruit as a potential detection method. Attract and kill stations will be designed and evaluated as a means to manage codling moth.