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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Research Project #433470

Research Project: Development of Strategies to Reduce Insecticide Inputs against Invasive and Native Pests in Temperate Fruit Crops

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

Project Number: 8080-21000-032-008-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2017
End Date: Aug 31, 2022

The objectives for this project will be to: 1) develop techniques to enhance and track the impact of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) parasitoid, Trissolcus japonicus, near tree fruit orchards; 2) determine if the volatiles released by different fungal strains have an impact on survivorship and growth of pest species; and 3) determine if UV-C light can be used to manage small fruit pests found in greenhouses and high tunnels.

Objective 1, we will develop reliable techniques for monitoring T. japonicus presence and activity. Strategies include deployment of yellow sticky cards and sentinel egg masses in different BMSB host plants and at different canopy heights. After the optimal monitoring technique is established, we will track the presence, abundance and seasonal activity of T. japonicus in and around tree fruit orchards in the mid-Atlantic region and measure their impact on BMSB. Objective 2, volatiles released by specific fungal strains of Cladosporium sphaerospermum have direct or indirect impacts on growth and development of plants. We will determine if these same volatiles affect behavior, growth and survivorship of insects as well. Feeding bioassays using plants exposed to fungal volatiles compared with those without will be performed in the laboratory to examine growth and survivorship. Exposure to volatiles in the laboratory and subsequent behavioral effects will be measured with ethological software. We anticipate targeting Lepidopteran, Dipteran, and Coleopteran pests in our studies. Objective 3, we will expose candidate pests including mites, thrips, aphids, lygus bugs, and spotted wing drosophila found on small fruit such as strawberries to UV-C light for short durations to examine if they affect mortality, feeding, and/or oviposition. Furthermore, we will optimize irradiation efficacy and look at the impact on non-targets such as beneficial arthropods.