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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wapato, Washington » Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #215994


item Unruh, Thomas
item Willett, Laura
item Garczynski, Stephen
item Horton, David

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2008
Publication Date: 9/16/2008
Citation: Unruh, T.R., Yu, T., Willett, L.S., Garczynski, S.F., Horton, D.R. 2008. DEVELOPMENT OF MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES TO PEAR PSYLLA (HEMIPTERA: PSYLLIDAE) AND EVALUATION OF FIELD PREDATION BY TWO KEY PREDATORS. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 101(5):887-898.

Interpretive Summary: The pear psylla is an important pest of pears worldwide and a target of many insecticide applications each season for its control. To better understanding how well various predatory insects help control pear psylla we developed two antibodies against this pest. With these antibodies we can detect whether a predator has recently ate pear psylla nymphs, adults or eggs by analyzing its gut contents using a biochemical technique called ELISA. Using this approach we can estimate the frequency of feeding on psylla by a suite of predator species in pear orchards. Significantly, we are now using this approach to understand how growing flowering plants below pear trees and using fewer insecticides may increase the activity of the predators and to measure how much each species of predator contributes to the control of this difficult pest. The end result of these manipulations my be a program to grow pears with fewer insecticide sprays.

Technical Abstract: The pear psylla, Cacopsylla pyricola, and related psyllids are important pests of pear worldwide. To improve our understanding of the impact made by the various predators of pear psylla we developed antibodies against this pest to be used in detecting prey remains in the predator’s guts. Antibodies were developed in mice by immunization with homogenates from various life stages of the pear psylla and subsequent hybridoma production. Over 900 antibody-producing cell lines were screened for activity against pear psylla antigens and ultimately four of these were found to be useful. Two monoclonal lines produced antibodies that showed selective activity against all stages of psylla except young eggs. Two other monoclonal lines showed activity only to psylla eggs. Both types showed significant cross reactivity to other Psyllidae species. Pear psylla remains were sensitively detected in the predatory bugs Anthocoris tomentosus Péricart (Heteroptera; Anthocoridae) and Deraeocoris brevis (Uhler) (Heteroptera: Miridae) in laboratory feeding trials and in field studies using the monoclonal which detects nymph and adult stages. The utility of these antibodies for the study of trophic interactions and habitat management in relation to biological control of pear psylla is discussed.