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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory » Research » Research Project #431191

Research Project: Assessment of Potential Non-Target Effects on Arthropod Natural Enemies

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-22000-288-15-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 15, 2016
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

The objective of this cooperative agreement is to maintain a colony of the lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), and other generalist insect predators, for use in research by both parties, including to undertake non-target organism safety studies for candidate pest management active ingredients.

The USDA Agricultural Research Service - Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory (USDA-ARS) maintains a colony of the lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata for study of its role in agroecosystems of interest. USDA-ARS will provide a reliable source of healthy C. maculata eggs to Genective USA, for development of and execution of repeatable laboratory feeding studies. The cooperative agreement provides an agronomically relevant beneficial non-target organism (NTO) test system for the evaluation of the safety of pesticidal substances of regulatory interest, such as proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This new trust agreement will allow the feeding studies essential for the evaluation of the safety of plant produced pesticidal substances for the development of environmental risk assessments. The approach for 2016-2019 is for USDA-ARS to provide Genective USA a supply of approximately 1000 eggs per month on average to allow the company's development and execution of laboratory bioassay methodologies. Genective USA will support, solely by the monetary contribution specified, the upkeep and development of the USDA-ARS colony to assist in evaluating potential effects of pesticidal active ingredients on survival, growth, and development of the non-target beneficial lady beetle C. maculata, and possibly other predator species. USDA-ARS is also using this colony for field and lab behavior and ecology studies under the parent project entitled “Urban Small Farms and Gardens Pest Management.”