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Title: Potential for microbial biological control of coleopteran and hemipteran pests of potato

item Wraight, Stephen
item Lacey, Lawrence

Submitted to: Fruit, Vegetable, and Cereal Science and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2008
Publication Date: 5/10/2009
Citation: Wraight, S.P., Lacey, L.A., Kabaluk, J., Goettel, M.S. 2009. Potential for microbial biological control of coleopteran and hemipteran pests of potato. Fruit, Vegetable, and Cereal Science and Biotechnology. 3(1):25-38.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Numerous insects in the orders Coleoptera and Hemiptera are major pests of potato, Solanum tuberosum, worldwide. Although these pests are currently managed almost exclusively with chemical insecticides, there is continuing demand for alternative controls that pose lower environmental and health risks. Biological control agents represent one such alternative, and in this review we assess the potential for use of various microbial biiological control agents for control of Colorado potato beetle, wireworms, aphids, leafhoppers, and psyllids. The Colorado potato beetle (CPB)and wireworms feed by chewing plant tissues and pass substantial portions of their life cycles both above and below ground. Consequently, they can be targeted with a broad range of microbial control agents, including bacteria, fungi, and nematodes. Aphids, leafhoppers, and Psyllids, on the other hand, feed by piercing plants and sucking sap, and most species pass their lives entirely above ground; these pests are susceptible only to fungal pathogens. Investigations to date indicate strong potential for microbial control of CPB, using integrated applications of Bacillus thuringiensis, Beauveria bassiana, and possibly rhabditid nematodes. Microbial control of wireworms and hemipteran pests is farther from realization. Important constraints, including difficulties in targeting soil-inhabiting pests with fungal pathogens, low efficacy or recycling potential of nematodes in some coleopteran hosts, limited epizootic potential of entomophthoralean fungi in early-season, low-density hemipteran pest populations, and problems with mass production and formulation of entomophthoralean fungi are discussed. Latest research efforts aimed at overcoming key constraints are identified.