Location: Crop Bioprotection Research
Project Number: 5010-22410-024-002-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2022
End Date: Sep 30, 2023
Improve rearing and release methods of the mite Histiogaster arborsignis (Acari: Astigmata) to increase fungal biocontrol delivery.
In previous laboratory studies the mite H. arborsignis showed potential to carry and inoculate viable entomopathogenic and competitor fungal spores into ambrosia beetle galleries. However, H. arborsignis performs poorly when reared on dense fungal colonies. New rearing protocols are needed to maximize fungus delivery by H. arborsignis into the ambrosia beetle system. Maximizing fungus delivery by phoretic mites requires an ideal combination of important factors for both organisms, namely: (1) type of rearing substrate, (2) relative humidity inside of the rearing unit, (3) initial fungal inoculum, and (4) introduction time of mites into the rearing unit. Different combinations of the factors listed above will be tested. As needed, qPCR will be used to quantify fungi and Sanger sequencing will be used to confirm the identity of recovered isolates.