Location: Biological Control of Pests Research
Project Number: 6066-22000-062-12-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2010
End Date: Mar 19, 2014
Improve and optimize systems for the use and production of 2 model predators, the predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii (Phytoseiidae) by the development of artificial pollens (a.k.a. pollen substitutes and the minute pirate bug Orius insidiosus (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) by adaptation of existing colloidal formulations of artificial diets and an by artificial egg laying substrates. The new technologies will be incorporated in existing mass rearing systems and implemented in commercial biocontrol programs to increase field efficacy and reduce costs.
The development of artificial pollens will be approached by using the methods developed by ARS scientist. This method consists of detailed chemical analyses of natural pollens which are known to be suitable food sources for the target mite, resulting on a similar chemically defined formulation. This will be attained by the use of High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography (GC), and Mass Spectrometry (MS). The mites fed with the artificial diet formulations will be evaluated against mites reared on natural pollen. These comparative evaluations will first be performed in an environmental chamber and secondly under green house conditions. Evaluations will focus on longevity, survival, development, food consumption, and egg production. If required, studies on feeding stimulants and attractants will be conducted following the above methodology. The suitability of existing colloidal formulations of artificial diets will be evaluated for rearing Orius (O.) insidiosus. The evaluation will focus on longevity, survival, development, food consumption, and egg production. If required, the composition of the artificial diet will be modified and adapted to increase its suitability for O. insidiosus. Additionally, a suitable way to present the diet to the predatory bugs under mass-rearing conditions will be developed. An artificial egg-laying substrate for O. insidiosus will be developed. Systems for the presentation of artificial pollens and egg laying substrates will be implemented following the methods developed by ARS scientist. These methods consist on optimization of pollen mass production, dispensing, packaging and release.