1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Evaluate virus infection as potential biological control agents against leafhoppers and psyllids, Homalodisca vitripennis and Diaphorina citri.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Infect leafhoppers and psyllids, by feeding or injections and monitor survival, female fecundity, and virus titers using PCR methods.
3. Progress Report:
This research relates to inhouse project objective 2: Biological Control: Develop new and improve existing biological control methods for psyllids and sharpshooter species. 2a. Virus propagation in insect cell cultures. Leafhopper cell cultures from the glassy-winged sharpshooter, H. vitripennis, were used to evaluate costs associated with successful propagation of wild-type leafhopper-infecting viruses. The main road block to using natural pathogens for insect pest management is the ability to mass produce them in a cost efficient manner. The methods of virus production evaluated were not efficient enough to compete with synthetic pesticides; however, production levels were sufficient for expanding experimental trials towards using these viruses as delivery systems to suppress insect pests. Results were submitted for publication.