Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/24/2008
Publication Date: 1/29/2009
Citation: Lacey, L.A., Arthurs, S.P. 2009. An Overview of Microbial Control of the Potato Tuber Moth. In: Integrated Pest Management for the Potato Tuber Moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) - a Potato Pest of Global Importance (J.Kroschel and L.A.Lacey, eds.). Tropical Agriculture 20, Advances in Crop Research 10. Margraf Publishers, Weikersheim, Germany. pp. 33-48. Interpretive Summary: One of the most injurious worldwide pests of potato is the potato tuber moth (PTM). Reliance on chemical insecticides for insect control has resulted in a variety of safety and environmental problems. Scientists at the USDA, Agricultural Research Service Laboratories in Wapato, WA are researching control of PTM using insect-specific pathogens. In this presentation they have reviewed the literature on the use and potential of microbial control of PTM. This information will provide researchers and potato producers with a comprehensive resource for planning control strategies that employ insect-specific pathogens for control of PTM. Such strategies will result in better safety for applicators and the food supply and will minimize environmental contamination.
Technical Abstract: Over reliance on broad spectrum insecticides has resulted in the development of resistance in potato tuber moth populations, safety risks to farm workers, the food supply, and the environment. An integrated pest management (IPM) strategy, in which natural enemies of pest arthropods and other alternative measures for crop protection will minimize the negative effects of broad spectrum pesticides and provide a more sustainable approach to pest control. Due to their selectivity and safety, microbial control agents appear to be ready made components for the integrated control of PTM that do not pose a threat to applicators or the environment and allow other natural enemies to function. In this review, PTM and the potential for its microbial control will be highlighted.