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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #435157

Research Project: Insecticide Resistance Management Strategies for Insects Attacking Horticultural Crops

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-018-19-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2018
End Date: Aug 31, 2023

We will conduct research to address the following objectives: (1) Investigate Integrated Pest Management techniques that assist with reducing the probability of insecticide resistance developing in insects attacking horticultural crops; (2) Determine the advent of insecticide resistance and best management techniques to manage insects/mites attacking horticultural crops; (3) Establish the efficacy of synthetic insecticides, bioinsecticides, repellents, and biological control agents for protecting horticultural crops from insect/mite pests; and (4) Characterize the post-application pesticide residues and residual activity of synthetic and reduced-risk insecticides on diverse horticultural crops produced under controlled and in-field environments.

To address Objective 1, we will evaluate the current status of insecticide resistance for major horticultural insects pests that attack crops grown under controlled environments and/or field conditions, for instance, fungus gnats, mites, and fungus-farming ambrosia beetles. Because these key insects attack diverse crops in multiple production systems, these tests will be done in relation to ornamental plants/trees, vegetables, and gourmet edible mushrooms grown under controlled environmental conditions and field conditions. These tests will be conducted using laboratory conditions, greenhouse/controlled environments, and field experiments in collaboration with growers in Ohio and elsewhere. Insecticide resistance evaluations including Probit analysis, toxicology analysis, and others will be used to evaluate the status of insecticide resistance for key pests. Part of the study will also establish ways to develop IPM programs that incorporate Insecticide Resistance Management techniques for key pests of horticultural crops grown in various production systems. To address Objective 2, we will evaluate tri-trophic interactions between plants, insect/mite pests, and biological control agents in order to develop techniques that are compatible with Integrated Pest Management techniques for horticultural crops. Evaluations of these tri-trophic interactions will take into consideration ecological principles to develop biological control recommendations, insecticide rotations, and other key management techniques that would help reduce the chances of insecticide resistance to be developed for key insect pests. To address Objective 3, selected insecticides, bioinsecticides, repellents and biological control agents will be evaluated for protecting against insect/mite attacks and to reduce the effects of their stress on ornamental, vegetable, and specialty crops grown in controlled and field environments. Experiments will address insects that infest multiple cropping systems, for instance, fungus gnats attacking both ornamental and food crops (i.e. gourmet vegetables/mushrooms) in controlled environments. Experiments will also address insects attacking plant and tree crops grown under field conditions, such as wood-boring ambrosia beetles. Evaluations will be conducted in the laboratory through bioassays, along with controlled environment and in-field efficacy trials to investigate the efficacy of molecules that are commonly used to manage key horticultural pests. These tests will be replicated several times and the data used for publications in scientific journals and in bulletins. The effects of topical and drench treatments will be evaluated on the main pests but also on the biological control agents that are used to manage them. Tests will be done in collaboration with the IR4 program. Genetic tests and pesticide residue analyses (via GC-MS and UPLC-MS) will be conducted to corroborate pesticide deposition on crops. Analyses will compare residues of pesticides targeting specific pests that attack diverse crops under multiple production systems, for instance fungus gnats attacking ornamental and food crops in controlled environments.