Submitted to: Potato Progress
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2003
Publication Date: 1/7/2004
Citation: Lacey, L.A., Riga, E., Snyder, W. 2004. The potential for using insect specific pathogens for control of insect pests of potato. Potato Progress. IV(1):1-3. Interpretive Summary: Microbial control of insect pests offers an alternative to conventional insecticides. Candidate microbial control agents include several insect-specific viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes. Many of these are commercially available or in various stages of research and development. Their use in potato production will provide insect control that is safe to pest control workers, the food supply, the environment and other natural enemies.
Technical Abstract: Several viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes are good candidates for microbial control of a variety of pest insects in the potato agroecosystem. These include a granulovirus for control of the potato tuber moth, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) for control of various Lepidoptera and the Colorado potato beetle (CPB), and nematodes fungi for control of Coleoptera (wireworms, CPB) and Lepidoptera. The authors propose the use of several techniques to augment and establish populations of entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi in potato fields in order to control wireworms and Colorado potato beetle. Although many insect pests may be susceptible to microbial control agents, their control may not be practical under certain environmental conditions, for example, the use of fungi to control aphids in low humidity environments.