Submitted to: International Organization of Biocontrol & Experiment Station Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2001
Publication Date: 9/1/2001
Citation: GOETTEL, M.S., VANDENBERG, J.D., LACEY, L.A. APPROACHES AND METHODS USED IN APPLIED BIOLOGICAL CONTROL: PATHOGENS. INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF BIOCONTROL & EXPERIMENT STATION SYMPOSIUM. 2001. Abstract. p. 23-24. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Naturally occurring entomopathogens are important in regulating insect populations. Many species are also employed as biological control agents of insect pests. Advantages of using microbial control agents include safety for humans and other nontarget organisms, reduction of pesticide residues in food, preservation of other natural enemies and increased biodiversity in managed ecosystems. As with predators and parasitoids, there are three basic approaches for using entomopathogens as microbial control agents: conservation, augmentation and classical biological control (inoculative release). Effective use of pathogens requires knowledge of many factors including: biology and life cycle of both pathogen and pest, crop economic thresholds, host range, epizootiology and interactions with other control agents. Published studies suggest that many hosts infected by pathogens in the laboratory are never found infected din the field. To improve their predictive value, laboratory and field-based bioassays must incorporate pertinent environmental, spatial and temporal variables in order to provide information suited to predict effects under field conditions. Microbial control agents can serve as safe, effective alternatives to broad spectrum chemical insecticides. Limitations of pathogens for which there must be accounting in biocontrol programs include slow speed of kill (relative to synthetic insecticides), environmental degradation (e.g., germicidal UV rays in sunlight), difficulties in mass production, and costs of application.