Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Research Project #439563

Research Project: Biological Control Technology for Hidden Pests Based on Interaction Mechanism Between Entomopathogenic Nematode and Their Insect Hosts

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Project Number: 6042-22000-024-014-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 1, 2021
End Date: Nov 30, 2024

Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, (Cooperator) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS or Agency) desire to enter into this Agreement for the purpose of supporting research to be carried out at ARS and Cooperator facilities. ARS desires the Cooperator to provide goods and services necessary to carry out research of mutual interest within the Southeast Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory. Specific objectives Include 1) to screen entomopathogenic nematodes for highly virulent strains, and improve large-scale production technology of these entomopathogenic nematodes, 2) to conduct the behavioral studies of host insect volatiles from insect pathogenic nematodes, 3) to develop the application technology of entomopathogenic nematodes for the prevention and control of burrowing/soil-dwelling and other cryptic pests, and 4) to establish biological control programs targeting various crops including tea trees, maize, peach and pecan.

Newly isolated entomopathogenic nematode strains and existing strains from culture collections will be screened in standard virulence assays against key pests of pecan, peach, tea, maize and or other commodities. Novel in vivo production technology will be explored via automated systems and or in vitro production will be enhanced through media development. Host insect volatiles will be elucidated through chromatography and tested using chemotaxis bioassays. Volatiles that may attract or repel entomopathogenic nematodes will be of interest as well as those that boost infectivity. Application technology for cryptic insect pests will be improved by developing novel formulations that allow penetration into hard-to-reach refugia and that enhance nematode survival. Broad systems approaches will be implemented in field studies to incorporate entomopathogenic nematodes into IPM strategies for control of key insect pests in tea, maize, peach, pecan and other commodities. The results of the various research components will be published in refereed journals, trade magazines, or extension articles, presented at professional and grower meetings. Information from the research will be integrated and formulated into improved pest management strategies.