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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Research Project #437350

Research Project: Bioinsecticides from Thermochemical Biomass Conversion

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Project Number: 3020-43000-034-011-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Apr 13, 2020
End Date: Dec 31, 2021

Develop a biorational biopesticide from co-products of biofuel production that is effective against stored product insects.

We will investigate the potential of catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) derived bioinsecticides in stored product applications. Within this task, CFP derived bioinsecticide activity will be evaluated across four species covering the same number of beetle families: red flour beetle (Tenebrionidae), sawtoothed grain beetle (Silvanidae), lesser grain borer (Bostrichidae), and the rice weevil (Curculionidae). This diverse group consisting of cosmopolitan pests of stored and packaged grains and grain-based products will be able to quickly assess the range of activity. Marrone will support additional testing with 8 available insect models. In the first year, this task will evaluate indirect and residual efficacy. The candidate biopesticides will be evaluated by exposing adults with a range of application rates to obtain dose-response curves. Time to knockdown will be assessed at a range of post-exposure times where previous research has shown knockdown of exposed red flour beetles is 100% after a three-hour exposure to deltamethrin, a commercial insecticide labeled for post-harvest management and commonly used. Post-treatment mortality will be assessed via longitudinal studies at bench scale for 1 to 4 days and residual bioassay studies for 1 to 6 weeks. In the second year long-distance and contact repellency of the improved bioinsecticide, provided by task 1 , will be measured to ensure that the material is behaviorally compatible. In the third year the most effective application rate (dose) will be used to examine knockdown and mortality at 1, 3, and 6 weeks post-treatment in pilot-scale warehouses. To accomplish this task, concrete test arenas will be constructed by pouring concrete into the bottom of standard plastic Petri dishes and will be used in indirect and residual efficacy assays. This is a standard, realistic simulation approximate performance on the floor of various food facilities, which can affect the efficacy of insecticides [Arthur et al. 2009]. Long-distance and contact repellency to the biopesticide will be determined in a laminar flow wind tunnel using video-tracking coupled with Ethovision software (Noldus, Inc., Leesburg, VA). Negative controls will consist of water. Treatments will consist of optimal concentrations of different fractions of the putative biopesticides. The wind tunnel assay will evaluate the side of an experimental arena on which beetles leave (e.g. towards or away from the stimulus edge of the arena), while the video-tracking procedure will record the total distance moved, angular velocity, and mean instantaneous velocity of individual insects placed in 90 x 100 mm Petri dishes over a 1 h trial period. Warehouse trials will measure both lethal and sublethal effects of exposure of biopesticide exposure on the movement of individuals who are not outright killed through Ethovision. Behavior will be compared to controls who have not been exposed to the biopesticide. A total of n = 18 replicates per treatment and species will be run.