1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To design and optimize semiochemical-based methods for control of major insect pests such as the citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella. In addition to field trials, laboratory research will address fundamental aspects of mechanisms underlying mating disruption.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Replicated, multilocational field trials will be established in commercial citrus groves to document application rates, coverage and deployment methods to optimize control of major citrus pests such as the citrus leafminer and associated citrus canker disease. Signals from antennae of citrus leafminer and other insects of interest will be recorded in response to odors collected from host plants and conspecifics. Antennae will be connected to a gas chromatograph-coupled electroantennogram (GC-EAD) and compounds of interest will be identified by GC-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS).
3. Progress Report:
This project is directly related to Objective 1 of the parent project: Develop semiochemical-based control methods for citrus pests, particularly Asian citrus psylid (ACP). Improvements to semiochemical-based methods of control were pursued for citrus leafminer (CLM). Field trials were conducted in collaboration with the University of Florida, Lake Alfred to identify optimize control of CLM through mating disruption (MD) of CLM. Field experiments demonstrated highly effective disruption over several weeks in commercial groves following application of a very small amount of one compound of the CLM sex pheromone in a slow-release matrix, SPLAT™ (Specialized Pheromone & Lure Application Technology, ISCA Technologies Inc., Riverside, CA). Field trials were established to test the longevity of attraction and the feasibility of incorporating intentional coverage gaps (skipped rows) in citrus groves treated with SPLAT CLM. Results sugggest that significant savings in the cost of application can be realized by leaving untreated rows and reducing total product use by up to 30 percent.