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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #320861

Title: Applied research and implementation of microbial control agents for pest control: greenhouse crops

item Wraight, Stephen
item LOPES, ROBERIO - Embrapa
item FARIA, MARCOS - Embrapa

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/27/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Greenhouse crop production has experienced strong growth in recent decades, reaching nearly 4 million hectare in 2010. Due to favorable environmental conditions and constant availability of host plants, arthropod pests are a major production constraint that has elicited parallel increases in pesticide use. At the same time, consumer demands for a food supply free of chemical-insecticide residues has also increased, and interest in microbial and other biological pest control solutions has never been greater. The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis and a number of baculoviruses have been used successfully in protected crops against a number of lepidopteran pests. These pathogens are highly specific and fully compatible with other biocontrol agents. However, their effectiveness is limited against other susceptible pests that have cryptic lifestyles, and they are ineffective against the primary pests of protected crops. Thrips, whiteflies, aphids, mealybugs, and mites have piercing/sucking modes of feeding, and microbial biocontrol of these arthropods has focused on the nematodes and fungi, which infect via direct penetration of the host body. A recent survey identified at least 28 mycoinsecticides and/or mycoacaricides currently available for greenhouse pest management. Adoption of these products has been slow, however, because they have often failed to meet expectations of greenhouse pest managers. Biopesticides are based on living microorganisms, and their use to achieve control comparable to high-potency, broad-spectrum chemical insecticides is not realistic. Rather than stand-alone solutions, arthropod pathogens should be viewed primarily as components of greenhouse IPM and insecticide resistance management programs aimed at prophylactic control or control at initial stages of infestation.