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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Southern Insect Management Research » Research » Research Project #430751

Research Project: Alternative Approaches to Tarnished Plant Bug Control

Location: Southern Insect Management Research

Project Number: 6066-22000-088-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Dec 4, 2015
End Date: Dec 3, 2020

Objective 1: Determine key factors that naturally regulate tarnished plant bug (TPB) population increases and develop new tools for managing tarnished plant bug, including bio-control strategies. Sub-objective 1.A. Quantify the impact of biological control on TPB seasonal abundance and distribution. Sub-objective 1.B. Identify and develop new biological control options (including entomopathogens, entomophagous insects, host manipulation and behavioral modification) as possible regulators of TPB population growth. Sub-objective 1.C. Identify sampling methods for TPB that are cost and time effective for landscape level monitoring, evaluate their use as tools in TPB population management, and link information about seasonal habitat changes to population dynamics. Objective 2: Develop novel alternative ways to deploy tarnished plant bug control agents, and evaluate effectiveness of these deployment methods in large-scale field experiments. Sub-objective 2. A. Determine if sprays of the NI8 strain of Beauverua (B.) bassiana applied alone and in combination with novaluron will suppress TPB populations colonizing adjacent cotton. Sub-objective 2. B. Measure impacts of NI8 and new biological control agent identified in Sub-objective 1B on TPB populations infesting wild hosts and crops in the Mississippi Delta.

The key factors that naturally regulate tarnished plant bug (TPB) population will be determined by collecting feral population from wild host plants, and when available, in cultivated crops at different locations within the Mississippi Delta. TPB nymphs and adults will be collected at each location. Collected insects will be used for microbial and parasitoids identification, molecular identification studies, life table construction, and stable carbon isotope study. Potential entomopathogenic fungi will be bioassayed in replicated laboratory tests and compered with NI8. The most effective fungus will be tested in large-scale field experiments.