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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Research Project #436263

Research Project: Development of Educational and Pest Control Tools for Small Flock and Organic Poultry Producers

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Project Number: 6036-32000-053-10-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Feb 25, 2020
End Date: Jan 31, 2022

Objective:
Objective 1 is to collect new isolates of Beauveria bassiana and screen them to identify fast-killing strains. Objective 2 is to select for faster kill times in the best strains identified in Objective 1. Objective 3 is to determine compatibility of the pathogen with natural enemies of flies. Objective 4 is to develop new delivery systems for poultry farms.

Approach:
Objective 1: Flies will be collected from farms and held for signs of disease. Spores will collected from infected flies, reared on growth media, and tested for the time required to kill 50% of exposed flies (LT50). Objective 2: Flies will be exposed to B. bassiana and the earliest flies to die will be used to start a new culture. This will be repeated for 10 generations. Objective 3: The virulence of the pathogen will be compared in the target (house flies) and four natural enemies, three parasitic wasps Spalangia (S.) cameroni, S. endius, and Muscidifurax raptor, and the predacious beetle Carcinops pumilio. Objective 4: Non-nutritive sugars (erythritol and zylitol) will be evaluated laced with Beauveria (B.) conidia from the strains selected from Objective 2. Effective bait will be tested in various designs for use by house flies both with and without B. bassiana, and with sucrose as a positive control. Bait stations will developed to lure flies and bring them to the bait.