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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: New Technologies and Strategies to Manage the Changing Pest Complex on Temperate Fruit Trees

Location: Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research

Project Number: 2092-22430-002-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 26, 2015
End Date: Oct 25, 2020

Objective:
This research will provide basic and applied information for the development and transfer of sustainable and environmentally acceptable methods and technologies for management of insect pests of temperate tree fruit crops. The objectives are: Objective 1: Develop new knowledge of the behavior, physiology, ecology, and biochemistry of insect pests and their natural enemies to suggest novel approaches to pest management and improve the use of existing methods, with focus on pest-host plant interactions of pear psylla and brown marmorated stink bug, pest-microbe interactions of codling moth and spotted wing drosophila, ecological and physiological criteria that limit pest distribution and abundance, and the functionality of codling moth receptors. Subobjective 1A. Determine and characterize interactions between pear trees and pear psylla and between the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and preferred host plants. Subobjective 1B. Determine if volatiles emanating from microbial species found in the honeydew of aphids, mealybugs and psyllids are attractive to natural enemies. Subobjective 1C. Determine factors affecting pupal mortality and adult emergence of western cherry fruit fly (WCFF) in the field. Sub-objective 1D. Determine the upper and lower thermal limits for metabolism of different life stages of codling moth (CM), apple maggot (AM), and WCFF. Subobjective 1E. Develop a CRISPR/Cas9 gene knock out system to determine functions of proteins key to CM reproduction and development. Subobjective 1F: Determine undescribed cryptic species and undocumented range expansions of the community of minute pirate bugs in orchards and other habitats. Objective 2: Develop alternatives to fumigation to meet quarantine restrictions for pest insects in exported fruits, with focus on developing codling moth detector technology and ecological niche modeling to determine limits to the establishment and spread of quarantined insect pests. Subobjective 2A: Identify biochemical markers for apple fruit infested with CM larvae, in support of effort to develop detector technology. Subobjective 2B: Improve ecological niche models for the potential of tree fruit pests of quarantine concerns to establish and spread in potential new export markets. Objective 3: Develop and improve methods to reduce pesticide use and develop alternatives to pesticides, with focus on identifying and applying semiochemicals for pest management, and improved efficacy of natural enemies through application of foods and feeding attractants, and improvement of pear psylla control through induced or systemic acquired resistance in pear to psylla. Subobjective 3A. Develop an attract-and-kill approach for management of codling moth and leafrollers. Subobjective 3B. Improve efficacy of natural enemies through application of foods and feeding attractants. Subobjective 3C. Determine field temperature influences on the efficacy of the insecticide spinosad and Delegate for management of WCFF. Subobjective 3D. Improve pear psylla control through induced or systemic acquired resistance. Subobjective 3E. Evaluate the use of microbial-based feeding attractants for management of codling moth.

Approach:
1A. Plant resistance to pear psylla will be characterized using greenhouse and biochemical assays and electrical penetration graphs. Host preferences by brown marmorated stink bug will be assessed by determining patterns of host plant use in non-crop landscapes. Stink bug attraction to host odor will be tested using a laboratory olfactometer. 1B. To develop methods of recruiting natural enemies to orchards, microbes present in aphid and pear psylla honeydew will be identified, and odors emanating from honeydew-associated microbes will be tested for attractiveness to natural enemies. 1C. Western cherry fruit fly adult emergence will be compared from soils with varying moisture and cover to determine whether fruit fly infestations in orchards can emanate from trees located in unmanaged habitats with dry soil surfaces. 1D. Data from differential scanning calorimetry and laboratory assays will provide estimates of metabolic thermal limits for codling moth, apple maggot, and western cherry fruit fly to determine the liklihood for these pests to establish and spread in new geographies. 1E. A CRISPR/Cas9 gene knock out system will be used to determine the function of proteins key to codling moth reproduction and development in support of work to develop species-specific behavioral and physiological modifying analogs for use in pest management. 1F. To improve conservation biological control in orchards, undescribed cryptic species and undocumented range expansions of minute pirate bugs in orchards and other habitats will be described based on morphometric analyses and molecular genetics. 2A. In support of efforts to develop technology to detect codling moth infestations in stored fruit, biochemical markers for infested apples will be identified using GC-MS, and laboratory studies will be used to determine how long marker chemicals are emitted from infested fruit. 2B. Experiments conducted in environmental chambers will be used to determine the effects of tropical and sub-tropical climates and photoperiods on the growth and development of codling moth, western cherry fruit fly, and apple maggot. Data will be used to improve ecological niche models for tree fruit pests of quarantine concerns to estimate the risk for these pests to establish and spread in export markets. 3A. New attractant blends will be developed as an attract-and-kill or mass trapping approach for management of codling moth and leafrollers. 3B. Plant-based attractive lures and food provisioning will be tested as attract-and-retain method of improving biological control in orchards. 3C. Effects of temperature on the efficacy of the insecticides Spinosad and Delegate for management of western cherry fruit fly will be determined using laboratory assays. 3D. Greenhouse assays and field studies will be used to test whether elicitors of host plant defenses can be used for the control of pear psylla. 3E. Laboratory studies will be performed to determine whether the addition of different yeast species with cane sugar stimulate codling moth feeding and increase the efficacy of ingested microbial or chemical insecticides against codling moth.

Last Modified: 09/22/2017
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