Location: Crop Bioprotection Research
Project Number: 5010-22410-018-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated
Start Date: May 25, 2016
End Date: Nov 6, 2017
Objective 1: Enable, from a technological standpoint, the commercial production of microbes pathogenic to egg-encased mosquito larvae.
We will develop a multi-faceted approach that will strategically combine host-seeking and oviposition attractants and deterrents with entomopathogenic microorganisms to simultaneously target elimination of mosquito eggs, larvae and adults. The first approach will target host-seeking females by using repellents to divert them away from humans and attractants baited with entomopathegenic microorganisms to lure them to death traps. We will test several alternative microbial species for their performance as biocontrol agents, but we will first utilize a microorganism demonstrated in our previous work documenting its ability to infect and kill adults of Aedes and Ochlerotatus through contact. The second approach will strategically combine oviposition repellents with ovicidal and larvicidal entomopathenic microorganisms to render potential larval habitats unsuitable for the vectors while at the same time combining oviposition attractants with adulticidal entomopathogenic fungi (e.g., M. anisopliae) to lure and kill gravid females. Our initial efforts will include (a) systematic assessment of individual compounds and blends to determine the optimum concentrations, mixtures and ratios, (b) assessment of alternative formulations of microorganisms in combination with the individual compounds and blends, and (c) establishment and optimization of release rates, formulation and trap design for use in the field.