Journal of Economic Entomology (2008) 101, 1540-1546

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Steven P. Arthurs, Lawrence A. Lacey and Francisco De La Rosa (2008)
Evaluation of a granulovirus (PoGV) and Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki for control of the potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in stored tubers
Journal of Economic Entomology 101 (5), 1540-1546
Abstract: Liquid suspensions and dry formulations of a granulovirus (family Baculoviridae, genus Granulovirus, PoGV) derived from infected larvae and the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Berliner) (Btk) were evaluated for control of the potato tuberworm, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), in stored tubers. Laboratory bioassays at 25°C showed that both PoGV and a wettable powder (WP) formulation of Btk incorporated with carriers (water, talc, sand, diatomaceous earth, and kaolin clay), were effective against neonate larvae. Depending on the technique, 100% larval mortality was achieved at concentrations as low as 0.025 larval equivalents (LE) PoGV per kg tuber and 150 mg Btk WP per kg tuber. However, 100% mortality was never achieved with tests on preinfested tubers, ostensibly due to the higher dosage required to kill older instars inside tubers. The most effective PoGV formulations were dipping (water) and talc, with dipping most effective for postinfestation treatments, causing up to 91.6% mortality at 0.4 LE per kg. There was no significant effect of formulation in the Btk treatments. The protective effects of residues were also evaluated under longer-term storage conditions. Batches of tubers treated with PoGV or Btk via dipping (up to 0.1 LE and 150 mg WP per kg tuber) were stored in cages containing an initial potato tuberworm infestation (10% of tubers). Although potato tuberworm populations were reduced by up to 98.4% after 2 mo at 25°C, no treatments prevented the development and reproduction of the F1 generation. The sprouting of stored tubers seemed to be a limiting factor for sustained control. No significant treatment effects were detected in similar cages held at 12°C for 4.5 mo. Improved strategies for the application of PoGV and Btk for long-term potato tuberworm control in tuber stores, including the use of chemical sprout suppressants, are discussed.
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Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Steven Arthurs, Lawrence A. Lacey

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
evaluation - screening - selection
application technology


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Phthorimaea operculella Potato (Solanum tuberosum) U.S.A. (NW)
Phthorimaea operculella Stored fruits/vegetables
Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (entomopathogen) Phthorimaea operculella Potato (Solanum tuberosum)
Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (entomopathogen) Phthorimaea operculella Stored fruits/vegetables
Phthorimaea operculella granulovirus (entomopathogen) Phthorimaea operculella Potato (Solanum tuberosum)
Phthorimaea operculella granulovirus (entomopathogen) Phthorimaea operculella Stored fruits/vegetables