Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology in Plant Sciences Department
Research project:

Arizona-native entomopathogenic nematodes for management of lepidopteran in lettuce

Lepidopteran pests are probably the most important group of insect pests affecting lettuce production. Among them, the beet armyworm, cabbage looper, Heliothinae and cutworms are currently known as the major species affecting lettuce production in desert growing areas of Arizona . Management and control of lepidopteran pests in Arizona currently considers a combination of approaches. Cultural practices, insect monitoring, as well as chemical and biological (Bt) pesticides have been considered both separately and/or combined for the control of these insect pests. One of the most promising choices to help minimize usage of chemical pesticides is the implementation of entomopathogenic nematodes (Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae). This project is testing a selection of native EPN isolates for the control of lettuce lepidopterous pests (i.e. dose-response, exposure time, nematode penetration efficiency, nematode progeny production). Moreover, the efficacy of the most effective EPN strains with commercially available formulation of EPN (i.e. S. riobrave and H. bacteriophora ) with be compared.

For more information: Dr. Patricia Stock, spstock@ag.arizona.edu
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