Project Number: 2040-43000-018-027-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 15, 2022
End Date: May 1, 2024
1) Pilot-scale rearing system of parasitoid wasps on artificial diets. 2) Biological and genetic characterization for Prorops nasuta and Phymastichus coffea colonies. 3) Quality controland shipping methods for parasitoid wasps. Apply to obtain the release of well-known parasitoids in Puerto Rico. 4) Pilot-scale test of CBB biocontrol based on parasoids in the field.
Standardization of mass rearing methods using artificial diets for African parasitoid wasps: A modified artificial diet production of CBB and parasitoids will be tested and used to determine the optimal thermal times for the development and reproduction of CBB parasitoid wasps. This information will be used to develop the protocol for efficient production of CBB parasitoid wasps using artificial diets and under optimal thermal conditions. Establishment of differential laboratory colonies of African parasitoid wasps: New colonies of P. nasuta and P. coffea will be established under laboratory rearing conditions. Several biological traits of interest for biocontrol will be measured for each insect laboratory colony, along with the estimation of genetic diversity using population genomic tools. Design of quality control and shipping procedures for exportation of parasitoid wasps: First, phytosanitary permits to export P. coffea from Colombia to Hawaii and from Colombia to Puerto Rico will be obtained. A similar permit will be obtained for the importation of P. coffea from Puerto Rico to Colombia. Then, the packaging, temperature conditions, relative humidity and shipping times will be tested and established to ensure survival of more than 95% of insects during transportation in different climatic seasons. Finally, quality control parameters will be established prior to shipping P. coffea overseas. Impact assessment of a CBB biological control approach involving parasitoid wasps: Field test experiments will be conducted to assess the impact of parasitoid wasps for the control of CBB in coffee crops. The experiments will include the mass release of wasps in CBB-infested coffee plantations and the assessment of CBB infestation in treated areas versus non-treated.