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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #251240

Title: Potential long-term storage of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis

item Riddick, Eric
item Wu, Zhixin

Submitted to: BioControl
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2010
Publication Date: 6/22/2010
Citation: Riddick, E.W., Wu, Z. 2010. Potential long-term storage of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. Biocontrol. 55(5):639-644.

Interpretive Summary: The predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis is an important predator that is mass-reared at a commercial scale for biological control of spider mites on plants grown in greenhouses, interiorscapes, and nurseries. Cryoprotectant and carbohydrate molecules provided some protection for predators under long-term storage at low temperatures. Survival was greatest for predators treated with 5% glycerol, and 10% and 20% glucose. In certain situations, these molecules might help stockpile predators during periods of low demand.

Technical Abstract: Increasing the ability to store mass-reared natural enemies during periods or seasons of low demand is a critical need of the biocontrol industry. We tested the hypothesis that cryoprotectant or carbohydrate molecules can enhance long-term cold storage of a predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot. The research objective was to determine the effect of cryoprotectant and carbohydrate molecules on in-storage survival of predators. In-storage survival at 8°C was greater for predators sprayed with glucose (10% and 20%, v/v) or glycerol (5%, v/v) than with water spray controls. Although many individuals expired within 50 days, a few females survived more than 200 days. Observations indicated that post-storage oviposition was low in a female treated with glycerol or glucose in comparison to a female treated with water only. This research suggests that select cryoprotectant and carbohydrate molecules have a limited capacity to facilitate long-term storage of P. persimilis.