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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Microbial control of arthropod pests of tropical tree fruit

item Dolinski, Claudia
item Lacey, Lawrence

Submitted to: Neotropical Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2007
Publication Date: 5/15/2007
Citation: Dolinski, C., Lacey, L.A. 2007. Microbial control of arthropod pests of tropical tree fruit. Neotropical Entomology. 36:161-179.

Interpretive Summary: A multitude of insects and mites attack fruit crops throughout the tropics. The traditional method for controlling most of these pests is the application of broad spectrum chemical pesticides. Growing concern over the negative environmental effects of pesticides has encouraged development of alternatives to broad spectrum chemical pesticides. Insect-specific pathogens have been developed as alternatives to chemical pesticides for control of a wide variety of insect and mite pests of a number of crops including tropical fruit. Scientists at the USDA-ARS Laboratotory in Wapato, WA and the Norte Fluminense State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have reviewed the literature on microbial control of tropical fruit pests and provide suggestions for integration of insect pathogens into integrated pest management of fruit pests.

Technical Abstract: Microbial control agents (virus, bacteria, fungi, and nematodes) have been developed as alternative control methods of a wide variety of arthropod pests of a number of crops including tropical fruit. The majority of research and application in tropical fruit agroecosystems has been conducted in citrus, banana, coconut and oil palms, and mango. Successful microbial control of citrus pests has been reported for several mites, citrus whiteflies, citrus aphids, root weevils, and various lepidopteran pests. Microbial control of arthropod pests of banana includes banana weevil, West Indian sugarcane borer, and various defoliating Lepidoptera. One of the most successful uses of an insect pathogen for classical biological control of an insect pest is reported for the palm rhinoceros beetles, Oryctes spp. (with a nonoccluded virus). Autodissemination of the virus within infected adult beetles has resulted in its establishment in several locations in Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific. Key pests of mango that have been controlled with microbial control agents include several fruit flies, mango seed weevil, and various homopteran pests. Also reported in this review is the successful microbial control of a limited number of arthropod pests of guava, papaya and pineapple.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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