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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Biological Control of White Grubs Infesting Turf by the Application of Metarhizium Anisopliae

Location: Crop Bioprotection Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To determine infection rates among species of white grub complex, compare formulations for efficacy, and evaluate application timing and application rates.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
White grubs are pests of turf because they feed on roots of grass plants and are typically controlled by the application of chemical insecticides. This project evaluates fungal biopesticides made with Metarhizium anisopliae as an alternative to chemical control. The unique aspect of this proposal is that the fungus is applied in a unique form. Recent discoveries using liquid fermentation techniques have resulted in production of a fungal structure known as microsclerotia. This structure can be formulated for application to soil environments where the microsclerotia germinate and each produced many infective conidial spores. Objectives include: 1) compare formulations of the fungal biopesticides for control efficacy when applied under field conditions, and 2) determine rates and timing of applications for optimal grub control under field conditions.

3. Progress Report:
This is the second year of a three year agreement related to the United States Golf Association (USGA) grant (Project No: 3620-22410-014-03T). Results from the first year of this agreement demonstrated that experimental formulations made with Metarhizium anisopliae (Ma) microsclerotia provided near 50% control of Japanese beetle larvae, equal with an application of a commercial Ma formulation applied to turf in field plots. Control of white grubs with Ma was less than Merit chemical insecticide, which provided >80% control. Also, the August application of treatments provided marginally better control of white grubs compared with the September application. These results were reported to the USGA. Formulation samples are currently being prepared by the ARS Crop Bioprotection Research Unit scientists at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), Peoria, Illinois, and are planned for summer and fall applications to field turf plots at Purdue.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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