Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2008
Publication Date: 2/17/2009
Citation: Lacey, L.A., Horton, D.R., Jones, D.C., Headrick, H.L., Neven, L.G. 2009. Efficacy of the Biofumigant Fungus Muscodor albus (Ascomycota: Xylariales) for Control of Codling Moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in Simulated Storage Conditions. Journal of Economic Entomology 102:43-49.
Interpretive Summary: Codling moth is the principle insect pest of codling moth in the United States. Exportation of apples and other fruit has been threatened by the presence and possibility of infested fruit and larvae in cartons and shipping containers. Fumigation with broad spectrum chemicals has been the principle method for protection of fruit exported to certain countries. Some of these fumigants, such as methyl bromide, have serious environmental consequences. The need for alternatives to these chemicals has encouraged the search for and development of effective fumigants with reduced side effects. ARS scientists at the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory investigated a gas-producing fungus for its biofumigant potential to control codling moth adults and larvae in infested apples. They found that exposure of adult moths killed most of them after only 3 days of exposure. Similar findings were also observed for fumigated larvae. This fungus may permit control of codling moth in storage without the application of undesirable chemicals such as methyl bromide.
Technical Abstract: Codling moth CM, Cydia pomonella, (L.), a serious pest of pome fruit, is a threat to exportation of apples because of the possibility of shipping infested fruit. Broad spectrum fumigants have been used as the principle method for the protection of exported fruit from insect infestations. Some of these fumigants have serious environmental consequences. The need for alternatives has encouraged the search for and development of effective fumigants with reduced side effects. The endophytic fungus, Muscodor albus (Ascomycota: Xylariales), produces several volatile compounds that are biocidal for several pest organisms including plant pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and nematodes, and insect pests of stored fruit and potatoes. Fumigation of chambers containing adult CM with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by M. albus for 3 days and incubating the moths in fresh air for 24 h at 25°C resulted in 83% mortality. Control mortality was 11%. Four and 5 day exposures resulted in higher mortality (84 and 100%, respectively) but control mortality was also high due to short the life span of the moths. Exposure of neonate larvae to VOCs for 3 days on apples and incubating for 7 days resulted in 87% mortality. Larvae surviving treatment were predominantly 1st instars. Control mortality was 9% with 85% of the larvae developing to 2nd and 3rd instars. Exposure of apples that had been infested for 5 days, fumigated with M. albus VOCs for 3 days and incubated for 7 days at 25° resulted in 73% mortality of CM larvae. Forty-nine 49% of the entries were deep. Control mortality was 8% with 83% deep entries. Exposure of diapausing cocooned CM larvae to VOCs for 7 or 14 days resulted in 31 and 100% mortality, respectively, minimal control mortality. Our data on treatment of several stages of CM with M. albus VOCs indicate that the fungus could provide an alternative for CM control in storage and prevent exportation of live CM.