To develop an application of the mycopathogen, Beauveria Bassina, that make spores to introduce a fungus on tarnished plant bugs as an alternative to chemical control. Research and develop microbial control strategies for tarnished plant bugs on alternate hosts using entomopathogenic fungi.
The sporulating fungus, Beauveria Bassina, on TPB cadaver.
General Description of Research and Goals:
Discover new isolates of entomopathogenic fungi from tarnished plant bug populations indigenous to the cotton growing regions of the mid-southern United States. Compare infectivity to tarnished plant bugs among new isolates from indigenous tarnished plant bug populations, commercial fungal isolates, and isolates from non-indigenous Lygus spp. Evaluate mycotoxin production in isolates. Compare infectivity to select beneficial insects among isolates. Compare spore production potential of isolates. Study the relationship between environmental parameters such as solar radiation, temperature, and humidity on the survival and infectivity fungal isolates. Evaluate formulation strategies for improving spore survival and infectivity under adverse environmental conditions (i.e. solar radiation, heat, and suboptimal relative humidity). Study the impact of select isolates on multiple life stages of tarnished plant bugs (i.e. nymphs, adults, female fecundity). Conduct small scale field trials on select fungal isolates and formulation strategies to determine direct incidence of tarnished plant bug infection, impact on tarnished plant bug populations, and impact on beneficial insect populations. Expand field trials to evaluate impact on populations of tarnished plant bug and beneficial insects on a larger geographic scale. Recruit a commercial partner for developing a commercial product that may be used for controlling tarnished plant bug populations on alternate hosts in the cotton growing regions of the US and potential for Lygus control and control of other sucking insect pests on other commodities.
Several new entomopathogenic fungi isolates from indigenous populations of tarnished plant bug have been obtained, the majority of which are more infective to tarnished plant bug the commercial isolates. Isolates from the western tarnished plant bug populations in the San Juaquine Valley were obtained through collaborative research with Michael McGuire, USDA-ARS, Shafter, CA. These isolates were also more infective to tarnished plant bug than commercial fungal isolates. Isolates from tarnished plant bug have similar spore production potential to commercial isolates, whereas, the few isolates tested from western tarnished plant bug are produce fewer. Spore formulations that involve coating spores water soluble lignin materials greatly improve survival of spores following exposure to simulated solar radiation (collaborative research with Robert Behle, USDA-ARS, Peoria, IL).
Continued research into current objectives already described above.
For more information contact:
PO Box 346
141 Experiment Station Rd
Stoneville, MS 38776
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