Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research
Project Number: 2040-43000-018-025-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jun 1, 2022
End Date: May 31, 2023
1) Conduct classical biocontrol releases of Phymasticus coffea. 2) Augmentative releases of P. coffea if needed. 3) Assess non-target impacts of parasitoid releases. 4) Provide biocontrol recommendations to industry. 5) Certify mobile quarantine containment unit.
Assess establishment and effectiveness of classical biological control releases: Once release permits are obtained, P. coffea will be released on multiple coffee farms across a range of elevations in Hawaii. Releases will be made approximately 90-120 days following blooming in coffee plantations, when the fruit become susceptible to coffee berry borer (CBB). Dispersal of P. coffea from release points will be measured within coffee plantations. Establishment of P. coffea will be measured over the duration of the fruiting season. CBB infested fruits will be collected and held in the laboratory to detect parasitoids emerging from beetles. Mortality of CBB will be quantified and proportion of coffee berries attached by CBB will be assessed during this period. Sampling will continue after the harvesting period to determine if P. coffea are able to persist within residual coffee berries and feral coffee. We will also measure the impact that applications of Beauveria bassiana have on P. coffea under field conditions. Mortality of P. coffea attributable to B. bassiana will be assessed in release plantations with and without applications of B. bassiana (Botanigard). Test augmentative release options if inoculative releases do not result in establishment: If it becomes evident the P. coffea has not established following releases, we will conduct augmentative releases with high densities of P. coffee in plantations. Control plantations will be selected to measure the impact of augmentative releases. CBB mortality and yield impacts will be compared between release and control plantations. Validate non-target predictions under field conditions: We will collect samples of potential non-target species in release areas and attempt to rear parasitoids from them. Our prediction is that no non-target host utilization or impact will occur. Provide coffee farmers with recommendations for effective biological control of CBB in Hawaii: Procedures for ensuring optimized biological control impacts on farms with different management regimes (e.g. B. bassiana applications) will be formulated and provided to growers via online resources, and at growers meetings. We will request feedback from growers using the recommended practices to assess their perception of effectiveness and willingness to adopt current CBB management strategies to include biological control in their IPM programs.