Submitted to: Field Manual of Techniques in Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2007
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Citation: Garczynski, S.F., Siegel, J.P. 2007. Chapter IV-2: Bacteria. pp. 175-198. In: Field Manual of Techniques in Invertebrate Pathology.
Interpretive Summary: To reduce chemical insecticide contamination of the environment, apple and pear growers need non-pesticidal methods to control codling moth, the major insect pest that causes fruit damage. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Laboratory in Wapato, WA are conducting research to find ways to make microbes that specifically kill insect pests more effective in codling moth control programs. Toxins produced by insect pathogenic bacteria can be used to kill insect pests, including the codling moth. This book chapter provides up-to-date information on the most common bacteria used to control insect pests. The information in this chapter will provide other scientists the technology they need to develop more effective microbial control programs to kill insect pests, including the codling moth. This line of research will result in the decreased use of chemical insecticides in apple and pear orchards in the Pacific Northwest.
Technical Abstract: Entomopathogenic bacteria provide an alternative to chemical pesticides used in insect control programs. Today, the principal microbial insecticides utilize spore forming bacteria or toxins produced by these bacteria as their active ingredients, either in formulations or by incorporation of toxin genes with insecticidal properties into transgenic plants. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a Gram-positive, spore forming bacteria produces a variety of toxins used in biocontrol programs, providing an alternative to chemical insecticides. Bt toxin genes are incorporated into many crops, including corn and cotton, to specifically control insect pests. In 2004, over 22 million hectares of insect resistant crops were planted worldwide with the majority containing Bt toxins. The use of transgenic plants has resulted in the reduction of chemical pesticides applied to control insect pests of field crops. Understanding the mode of action of Bt toxins is important when designing insect resistance management strategies. This book chapter provides a review of bacterial pathogens used in insect control programs and focuses on Bt.