Submitted to: Annual Cumberland Shenandoah Fruit Workers Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The dogwood borer (DWB), Synanthedon scitula Harris, is becoming an increasingly important economic pest in commercial apple orchards. This is due in large part to increased plantings of apple trees on size-controlling rootstocks that promote the formation of burrknots near the graft union and elsewhere on the scion. Burrknot tissue serves as an oviposition site for host-seeking female DWB and a feeding site for DWB larvae. Trees heavily infested with larvae exhibit reduced growth, yellowing of foliage, reduced yields, and even death if larvae girdle the tree. Furthermore, review of chemical tolerances as dictated by the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) has made continued availability of the most effective insecticide for controlling dogwood borer (chlorpyrifos) uncertain. Our short-term projects focus on assessments of male DWB to various lures available for monitoring, studies of DWB mating behavior, DWB responses to plant-derived olfactory cues, and studies of the basic biology of DWB in apple. The unified goal of these projects is to gain a deeper understanding of mate- and host-finding behavior of DWB in order to improve upon existing monitoring strategies and explore the potential for semiochemically-based management strategies based on female-produced sex pheromones, mating disruption, and "attract-and-kill" strategies. Given the short- and long-term project goals, in 2001 we began development of methodologies for rearing and maintenance of DWB in the laboratory.