Start Date: Jul 01, 2010
End Date: Jun 30, 2014
Utilize entomopathogenic fungi from the University of Vermont (UVM) collection, the ARS Collection of Entomopathogenic Fungal Cultures (ARSEF; Ithaca, NY), and newly isolated strains from greenhouse and field studies to develop improved methods for the use of these fungi in practical programs for the integrated pesticidal and biological control of soil-dwelling stages of western flower thrips and other major insect pests in greenhouses as well as of pear thrips affecting sugar maple trees. The isolation and preservation of new fungal germplasm and co-deposition of old and new UVM isolates in ARSEF remain a major activity. Development of new or improved means and formulations to deliver fungal entomopathogens to control soil-dwelling stages of thrips and other insects in greenhouses is a major concern. Improving the ability of fungal control agents to resist drought and high temperatures with a balanced set of modified formulations and applications approaches is critically important.