Source: UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT submitted to
ENTOMOPATHOGENIC FUNGI FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF PEAR THRIPS AND WESTERN FLOWER THRIPS IN FORESTS AND GREENHOUSES
Sponsoring Institution
Agricultural Research Service/USDA
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0409496
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
1907-22410-005-01S
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Jun 2, 2005
Project End Date
Jun 1, 2010
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
HUMBER R A
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
(N/A)
BURLINGTON,VT 05405
Performing Department
(N/A)
Non Technical Summary
(N/A)
Animal Health Component
40%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
60%
Applied
40%
Developmental
0%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2152410100040%
2164020110260%
Goals / Objectives
(A) To initiate a gradual transfer of duplicate fungal isolates from UVM (Burlington, VT) to ARSEF (Ithaca, NY). (B) to continue monitoring pear thrips and persistence of fungal pathogens of pear thrips in Vermont sugarbushes. (C) To evaluate and refine plant-mediated systems for integrated pest management of western flower thrips (WFT). (D) To assess effects of whey-based formulations against WFT in greenhouses. (E) To assess thermotlerance, efficacy and shelf-life of fungi produced on whey-based media. (F) To continue to assess conidial spray depositions on plants using different sprays and previously determined techniques. (G) To publish scientific articles on the research in Objectives B through F above.
Project Methods
Candidate fungal isolates will be investigated as to their growth and mass-production capabilities, their compatibility with chemical and biorational pesticides and non-target natural enemies. Other IPM strategies, such as fallowing greenhouses or screening vents will be assessed and pear thrips population patterns determined as factors that affect fungal efficacy and thrips suppression. In addition, spray application methods and the effect of timing in forest or greenhouse treatments will be evaluated to optimize application techniques that promote fungal efficacy and pest suppression.

Progress 10/01/10 to 09/30/11

Outputs
Progress Report Objectives (from AD-416) (A) To initiate a gradual transfer of duplicate fungal isolates from UVM (Burlington, VT) to ARSEF (Ithaca, NY). (B) to continue monitoring pear thrips and persistence of fungal pathogens of pear thrips in Vermont sugarbushes. (C) To evaluate and refine plant-mediated systems for integrated pest management of western flower thrips (WFT). (D) To assess effects of whey-based formulations against WFT in greenhouses. (E) To assess thermotlerance, efficacy and shelf-life of fungi produced on whey- based media. (F) To continue to assess conidial spray depositions on plants using different sprays and previously determined techniques. (G) To publish scientific articles on the research in Objectives B through F above. Approach (from AD-416) Candidate fungal isolates will be investigated as to their growth and mass-production capabilities, their compatibility with chemical and biorational pesticides and non-target natural enemies. Other IPM strategies, such as fallowing greenhouses or screening vents will be assessed and pear thrips population patterns determined as factors that affect fungal efficacy and thrips suppression. In addition, spray application methods and the effect of timing in forest or greenhouse treatments will be evaluated to optimize application techniques that promote fungal efficacy and pest suppression. Thrips are significant agricultural pests attacking both forest and greenhouse crops, and cause significant economic loss. Western flower thrips (WFT), Franklinella occidentalis, is the number one pest of greenhouse ornamentals in the US. This pest reduces plant quality through unsightly feeding damage on a crop that is judged exclusively for its aesthetic value. Thrips also transmit several viruses that kill the target plants. Growers routinely spray chemical pesticides on a weekly basis to reduce thrips populations. Evidence of insecticide resistance has been reported. Pear thrips, Taeniothrips inconsequens, has been a recurrent problem for over 20 years in maple forests where maple syrup is produced. Damage from this pest impacts the overall health of the maple forest ecosystem by stressing mature maple trees and reducing regeneration of seedlings, the primary means of sustaining this forest environment. Repeated early season damage from pear thrips weakens the trees, making them susceptible to other secondary organisms. No chemical pesticides are available to maple syrup producers to protect their trees from this pest. Entomopathogenic fungi show promise as part of a total integrated pest management (IPM) approach to these two thrips pests. This project addressed means to evaluate the potential of these biological control agents, and further develop them as an IPM component. Research optimizes spray application techniques to efficiently target ornamental plants in greenhouses with entomopathogenic fungi for management of thrips and other pests. Emphasis is now being placed on the adaptation and application of research findings to provide simple, practical guidelines for growers to improve spray coverage, and hence efficacy, of fungal and other pesticide sprays. Monitoring methods are also being devised to better assess thrips population levels in forest and greenhouse settings which will improve the timing of fungal applications. The persistence of fungal granular formulations is being evaluated to determine the efficacy in soil over time, and the storage capacity of these formulations will be assessed. Multiple pest and beneficial organisms are commonly found in a greenhouse environment, and it is critical that these fungi are compatible with chemical pesticides and other biological control agents used in this setting. Therefore, an assessment will be made of the use of formulated fungi within a typical greenhouse in which �best management practices� are followed. A major emphasis will be placed on refining a plant-mediated system for thrips management. Significant progress has been made and granular fungal applications to potting soils appear to be extremely useful in reducing/eliminating soil phases of a number of greenhouse pests. Isolate preservation is essential and a continued transfer of our microbials to the ARS collection at Cornell will be done. Curation of the permanent entomopathogenic fungal collection continues. Currently there are >1500 isolate entries with data on identity, collector, origin of host and date of collection. Information is available at www.uvm. edu/~fungus.html. Progress was monitored by e-mail.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications


    Progress 10/01/09 to 09/30/10

    Outputs
    Progress Report Objectives (from AD-416) (A) To initiate a gradual transfer of duplicate fungal isolates from UVM (Burlington, VT) to ARSEF (Ithaca, NY). (B) to continue monitoring pear thrips and persistence of fungal pathogens of pear thrips in Vermont sugarbushes. (C) To evaluate and refine plant-mediated systems for integrated pest management of western flower thrips (WFT). (D) To assess effects of whey-based formulations against WFT in greenhouses. (E) To assess thermotlerance, efficacy and shelf-life of fungi produced on whey- based media. (F) To continue to assess conidial spray depositions on plants using different sprays and previously determined techniques. (G) To publish scientific articles on the research in Objectives B through F above. Approach (from AD-416) Candidate fungal isolates will be investigated as to their growth and mass-production capabilities, their compatibility with chemical and biorational pesticides and non-target natural enemies. Other IPM strategies, such as fallowing greenhouses or screening vents will be assessed and pear thrips population patterns determined as factors that affect fungal efficacy and thrips suppression. In addition, spray application methods and the effect of timing in forest or greenhouse treatments will be evaluated to optimize application techniques that promote fungal efficacy and pest suppression. Persistence of two granular formulations (millet and starch granules) of two B. bassiana (Bb) and two M. anisopliae (Ma) isolates was examined in Vermont sugar maple forest soil. Applications were made July 2008 and sampled 8 times (pretreatment, and 1 hr, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 40 wk post- treat). In total 792 samples were taken from 99 plots. Each sample was subsampled and plated on selective media to obtain numbers of Bb and Ma CFUs. The number of CFUs increased significantly 2 wks post-application. The two Bb millet formulations displayed greater persistence than other treatments. Mycological analyses were made from pre-treatment samples to assess the myco-diversity in forest soil. A total of 194 isolates of entomopathogenic fungi were obtained: 30 Bb, 32 Ma, 57 Lecanicillium spp., 74 Isaria spp., 1 Conidiobolus sp. These were placed in permanent storage in the UVM Entomology Research Laboratory Worldwide Collection. Pear thrips populations were monitored and found to be on the increase in some regions of Vermont this year. Moderate damage was observed to sugar maple trees in some counties, though a significant negative impact on tree health or foliage is not expected if other stress factors do not occur, such as late season defoliators or severe drought, later in the year. Fungi were extracted from thrips and other invertebrates from soil samples used to monitor thrips populations. A total of 325 thrips cadavers were analyzed, of which 88% (286) were found to be fungal- infected, which suggests strongly that under normal conditions, pear thrips populations may be maintained at low levels in forest environments by naturally-occurring fungi. Fungi were isolated from each cadaver, most of which were either Lecanicillium spp. or Mariannaea spp.; 71 of these isolates were sent to Dr. Richard Humber at USDA, ARS for confirmation of their identification. In addition, 1,625 non-thrips invertebrate cadavers were also analyzed, of which 78.3% had signs of mycoses. Around 500 fungal isolates, most of them Lecanicillium spp., were isolated from these cadavers, and 19 of them were sent to the USDA-ARS fungal facility. The remaining isolates are being prepared for long-term storage at UVM. In total 328 isolates were transferred from the UVM Collection of Entomopathogenic Fungi to ARS. Four plates of each were grown on PDA; two for ARS; the rest to prepare six micro-vials with glycerol for UVM�s collection. The following isolates were transferred: 112 Bb; 55 Ma; 14 Paecilomyces lilacinus; 1 Isaria fumosoroseus; 29 I. farinosus; 22 Lecanicillium spp.; 7 Mariannaea sp.; 5 Myriangium duriaei; 2 Hirsutella sp.(possible H. lecaniicola); 4 Conidiobolus sp; 6 Phoma sp.; 1 Fusarium sp.; 2 Rhinocladiella sp.; 1 Epicoccum sp.; 1 Trichoderma sp.; 4 yeasts; and 62 unidentified isolates. Progress was monitored through email and phone conversations.

    Impacts
    (N/A)

    Publications


      Progress 10/01/08 to 09/30/09

      Outputs
      Progress Report Objectives (from AD-416) (A) To initiate a gradual transfer of duplicate fungal isolates from UVM (Burlington, VT) to ARSEF (Ithaca, NY). (B) to continue monitoring pear thrips and persistence of fungal pathogens of pear thrips in Vermont sugarbushes. (C) To evaluate and refine plant-mediated systems for integrated pest management of western flower thrips (WFT). (D) To assess effects of whey-based formulations against WFT in greenhouses. (E) To assess thermotlerance, efficacy and shelf-life of fungi produced on whey- based media. (F) To continue to assess conidial spray depositions on plants using different sprays and previously determined techniques. (G) To publish scientific articles on the research in Objectives B through F above. Approach (from AD-416) Candidate fungal isolates will be investigated as to their growth and mass-production capabilities, their compatibility with chemical and biorational pesticides and non-target natural enemies. Other IPM strategies, such as fallowing greenhouses or screening vents will be assessed and pear thrips population patterns determined as factors that affect fungal efficacy and thrips suppression. In addition, spray application methods and the effect of timing in forest or greenhouse treatments will be evaluated to optimize application techniques that promote fungal efficacy and pest suppression. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations Persistence of formulations on millet and on starch granules of two B. bassiana (Bb) and two M. anisopliae (Ma) isolates was examined in Vermont sugarbush soil. Applications were made July 2008 and sampled 8 times (pretreat, and 1 hr, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 40 wk post- treat); a total of 792 samples were taken from 99 plots. Each sample was plated on selective medium to quantify Bb and Ma CFUs. CFUs increased significantly 2 wks post-application. Both Bb/millet formulations persisted longer than other treatments. Analyses of fungal diversity in pre-treatment samples resulted in 204 isolates of entomopathogenic fungi: 30 isolates of Bb, 32 of Ma, 57 of Lecanicillium spp, 74 Paecilomyces spp, and 1 Conidiobolus sp. Pear thrips populations monitored in several sugarbushes were at noninjurious levels for sugar maple. Standard tree tapping rates were recommended as no other pests were expected to stress trees. We tested a novel greenhouse IPM system against western flower thrips (WFT) using granular fungal formulations (4 g/pot into the surface of potting mix) in trap plant pots with �Hero yellow� marigolds. WFT populations were reduced 80-92% 4, 6, and 8 wk post-application. Most conidia were found to remain in the top 3 cm of potting medium, and <1% were found in water leached from pots after 18 d, thus showing a high probability for fungus/WFT contact during pupation. We previously developed millet-based mass production means yielding up to 10 exp 8 conidia/g and obtained even higher spore yields from a whey-permeate medium. Tests this year with nitrogenous (tryptone or yeast extract) and zinc sulfate additions to whey broth provided spore yields 2-5 times higher than the unaugmented medium. Conidia of fungi grown on millet or whey permeate were more thermotolerant than those formed on SDAY: Over 50% of conidia from two Bb and Ma isolates formed on millet or whey permeate survived 45 min exposure to 47�C. Production method-based differences in thermotolerance were related to the ratio of conidia with differing hydrophobicities. In tests of oil-based granular formulations, conidia suspended in plant oils showed >90% germination 8 h after incubation at 50�C but <10% for water- based conidial suspensions. Some oil-encapsulated mycotized millet grains were more thermotolerant than those without oil after exposure to dry heat at 50�C for 72 h; Bb was more thermotolerant than Ma. Using the Bb-based mycopesticide BotaniGardTM, various spray parameters were tested to quantify deposition of Bb conidia on the undersides of leaves of ornamental plants, where most greenhouse arthropod pests occur. A hydraulic sprayer provided the same conidial coverage on the undersides of leaves in both the upper and lower plant canopy, an optimum of 50-58 conidia/sq mm. We transferred 217 isolates from the UVM Collection of Entomopathogenic Fungi to ARSEF: 59 of Bb; 106 Ma; 4 Paecilomyces lilacinus; 20 P. fumosoroseus; 4 Lecanicillium spp; 2 Myriangium duriaei; 1 possibly Hirsutella lecaniicola; 5 Metarhiziopsis microspora; 5 Torrubiella or Gibella; 2 Furia gastropachae and 9 unidentified fungi. ADODR monitored activities by a series of telephone calls and email exchanges.

      Impacts
      (N/A)

      Publications


        Progress 10/01/07 to 09/30/08

        Outputs
        Progress Report Objectives (from AD-416) (A) To initiate a gradual transfer of duplicate fungal isolates from UVM (Burlington, VT) to ARSEF (Ithaca, NY). (B) to continue monitoring pear thrips and persistence of fungal pathogens of pear thrips in Vermont sugarbushes. (C) To evaluate and refine plant-mediated systems for integrated pest management of western flower thrips (WFT). (D) To assess effects of whey-based formulations against WFT in greenhouses. (E) To assess thermotlerance, efficcy and shelf-life of fungi produced on whey- based media. (F) To continue to assess conidial spray depositions on plants using different sprays and previously determined techniques. (G) To publish scientific articles on the research in Objectives B through F above. Approach (from AD-416) Candidate fungal isolates will be investigated as to their growth and mass-production capabilities, their compatibility with chemical and biorational pesticides and non-target natural enemies. Other IPM strategies, such as fallowing greenhouses or screening vents will be assessed and pear thrips population patterns determined as factors that affect fungal efficacy and thrips suppression. In addition, spray application methods and the effect of timing in forest or greenhouse treatments will be evaluated to optimize application techniques that promote fungal efficacy and pest suppression. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations Research continues on using the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae to control pear thrips (PT; Taeniothrips inconsequens; pests of Vermont sugar maple) and Western flower thrips (WFT; Frankliniella occidentalis, a major greenhouse pest globally). PT populations continue to be monitored but still remain too low for active intervention. This project's current main emphasis is on developing integrated control methods for WFT in greenhouses. The protocols for the IPM of WFT in greenhouses being developed under this Specific Cooperative Agreement are being reviewed continually by established greenhouse growers in Vermont to assure their full acceptability to commercial growers for rapid adoption in commercial operations. The use of whey powder, a plentiful and inexpensive by-product of Vermont�s cheese industry, both to produce fungal inoculum for applications and as the main carrier in liquid or granular formulations is a key focus for recent research. Spores of two B. bassiana isolates produced on a whey-based solid medium had survival indices 11-58% higher than for spores produced on Sabouraud dextrose agar supplemented with yeast extract (SDAY) when exposed to temperatures of 43-47 degC; such high temperatures usually degrade the viability or infectivity of fungal entomopathogens. Whey-based liquid formulations of fungi also showed higher persistence on bean plants with water-based formulations, and provided up to 80% mortality of WFT. Whey apparently provides both nutritional and environmentally protective resources to these fungi and underscores the potential for using whey with more fungi than those tested here and against most hosts than only thrips. Granular fungal formulations on either a solid whey-based medium or millet (another substrate on which these fungi produce abundant conidia with high viability and excellent storage properties in which formulation granules remain highly viable for >250 d at 20 degC) were applied at a rate of 2 g granules per 24 g greenhouse potting medium or forest soil reduced emergence of adult WFT by 76-91% or 75-88%, respectively. Neither fungus used here, regardless of the formulation used, detrimentally affected populations of Neoseiulus cucumeris, a predatory mite also used in greenhouses to control thrips and some small mites. Suitable technologies to apply fungal biocontrol formulations to a range of greenhouse plants are being studied to minimize the amount of forumulation required and to maximize mortality among target thrips with minimal nontarget effects against the predatory mites also controlling WFT. Spray factors being studied include nozzle types, spray pressure, angle of application, and rate of horizontal movement of the sprayer to maximize fungal deposition on the undersides of leaves during treatment. ADODR communicated with project cooperators by phone throughout the year and by a visit to Ithaca in May 2008 by five members of the project staff.

        Impacts
        (N/A)

        Publications


          Progress 10/01/06 to 09/30/07

          Outputs
          Progress Report Objectives (from AD-416) Develop the potential of entomopathogenic fungi for microbial control of pear thrips in forests and western flower thrips in greenhouses as part of a comprehensive IPM strategy. Approach (from AD-416) Candidate fungal isolates will be investigated as to their growth and mass-production capabilities, their compatibility with chemical and biorational pesticides and non-target natural enemies. Other IPM strategies, such as fallowing greenhouses or screening vents will be assessed and pear thrips population patterns determined as factors that affect fungal efficacy and thrips suppression. In addition, spray application methods and the effect of timing in forest or greenhouse treatments will be evaluated to optimize application techniques that promote fungal efficacy and pest suppression. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations Research continues on using fungal pathogens to control pear thrips (PT; Taeniothrips inconsequens; pests of sugar maples in Vermont) and Western flower thrips (WFT; Frankliniella occidentalis, a major pest in greenhouses nationwide) using the fungi Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, and Lecanicillium lecanii. Experimental fungal spray applications are monitored efficiently and are being optimized by removing spores from plant surfaces with two types of commercially available transparent plastic tapes. In greenhouse studies, mortalities of WFT can exceed 97% with Metarhizium, and are 67-70% with Beauveria and Lecanicillium. Metarhizium yields higher mortalities and notably faster kills of thrips with less overall damage to host plants than do the other fungi tested; the speed of kill is especially important for hosts such as thrips with very short life cycles. For greenhouse production of ornamental plants, separate experimental protocols (including the use of fungal biocontrols) for 'best management practices' (BMP) and 'conventional' (CON) pest management practices were developed and are being tested for overall effectiveness in pest management and the overall economics of each approach. The BMP approach includes the use of more extensive surveys for pests as well as placements of 'banker' plants to build populations of predatory wasps (on barley grass with a grass-limited host aphid population) or predatory mites (on marigolds and pepper plants); such 'banker' plants may eventually contribute to the build-up of WFT populations unless the WFT populations on these plants are treated. Marigolds were useful indicator plants allowing earlier detections of low WFT populations than on many other plant types; the appearance of WFT on these indicators can be used to trigger other fungal or chemical control treatments in either BMP or CON systems. Elite isolates of Beauveria and Metarhizium for use in these greenhouse tests were produced on granular or liquid whey-based growth media as well as on millet grains. The activities of these isolates against WFT and predatory mites were tested, as was persistence of whey-based formulations on bean plants in greenhouse conditions. Control of WFT with whey-grown fungi exceeded 80%, and spores of these fungi remained viable longer, caused higher mortality rates than with water-based formulations, and also appear to tolerate high temperature stresses (45 degC) better. Predatory mites are not badly affected by these whey-based Beauveria and Metarhizium treatments. Whey-and millet-based granules were producible in 3-4 days, can be stored for 240 days at 4 or 40 deg C, and form infective, highly viable conidia after 3 days post-storage incubation in damp chambers. Applying fungal granules in or onto soil or potting medium reduced WFT emergence by 82-92%; saprobic growth in amended soils led to increased fungal inoculum levels. Early greenhouse studies of Beauveria or Metarhizium granules applied to soils reduced WFT populations by 34-78% or 9-56% in comparison to the controls, respectively. ADOR communicated with project cooperators by phone, throughout the year, and by on-site visit (April 2007).

          Impacts
          (N/A)

          Publications


            Progress 10/01/05 to 09/30/06

            Outputs
            Progress Report 4d Progress report. This report documents research conducted under a Specific Cooperative Agreement between ARS and the Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Vermont. Additional details of this research can be found in the report of the parent project 1907-22410-003-00D "Microbial and Genetic Resources for Biological Control and High-Value Uses". Continuing efforts to find effective approaches for the fungal biocontrol of pear thrips, Taeniothrips inconsequens, and Western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis, focus on using Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae. Dried millet/mycelium formulations of these fungi were produced in 3-4 d, and assessed based on viability after production, spore production capacity at different time intervals, and storage life at 4 degC. The dried pellets began sporulating 3 d after rehydration showed peak sporulation after 12 d with conidial viability >95%. Whey was used to deliver entomopathogenic fungi to greenhouse pests: Mortality of >80% was attained against WFT using an effective fungal strain in a whey-based liquid formulation; fungus-free whey formulations had no significant effect on WFT or plants. The persistence of liquid whey-based formulations under greenhouse conditions is being studied further as is the use of whey in powdered or granular formulations of fungi. Two 50 x 25 ft. greenhouses, each containing >25 species of commercially important ornamentals and bedding plants were used for comparative studies on management practices: A 'better management practices' (BMP) house received natural enemies and reduced- risk pesticides only as necessary to protect the plants against pests. A 'conventional management practices' (CON) house received minimal monitoring and comparatively heavy use of agrochemicals. Extensive data on costs, management time expended, quality and value of the resulting crops were taken. Thrips and other pests were monitored weekly and population numbers plotted over time to assess and to develop a holistic management system for thrips and other arthropod pests in bedding plants, with an emphasis on greater use of biocontrol agents such as fungi. The quality of ornamental production was equal in both houses, and the total economics of each strategy continue to be monitored. Pesticide use in the BMP house is markedly lower than in the CON house; two more production seasons are needed before the results can be conveyed to growers. The costs for (lower toxicity) pesticides in the BMP house were half those for the CON house but the overall management costs for the BMP house were about $600.00 more than for the CON house because of the cost of biocontrol agents and more extensive monitoring. WFT populations were comparable the both houses, and the BMP house received multiple releases of predatory mites but was sprayed only once in November for WFT while the CON house was sprayed 3 times from June-September. WFT management in the BMP house cost 3 times more than in the CON house due to the cost of predatory mites; WFT were always present in the BMP house but at levels too low to cause visible damage. WFT can be detected 2-3 weeks earlier on marigold indicator than on the standard yellow sticky traps. Marigolds may prove to be a means to detect low populations of thrips and, thus, an earlier warning that could trigger the use of fungal pathogens. We envision that a granular fungal formulation could be applied to pots early in the spring to infect larvae and pupae of WFT in soil. Indicator plants were also useful to detect aphids. Aphid populations, which differed between the two houses, were treated twice in the BMP house during the early season with wasp parasitoids reared on aphids on barley banker plants that supported the wasps but were not themselves greenhouse pests. The BMP house was sprayed 3 times for aphids versus 5 times in the CON house, and aphid management costs in the BMP house were half those of the CON house in which only pesticides were applied. Banker plants have great potential to help reduce the costs associated with using biological controls. Pear thrips are again increasing in some regions of Vermont after several years of very low population numbers. Sugar maple farms in Randolph and Braintree suffered significant damage to sugar maple trees caused by a combination of feeding by pear thrips and forest tent caterpillars, and field trials using new formulations of entomopathogenic fungi against PT may be possible in Spring 2007. The collection of entomopathogenic fungal cultures now includes 1350 isolates stored at -80 degC; information on these fungi is available at <www.uvm. edu/~entlab/Fungus.html>.

            Impacts
            (N/A)

            Publications


              Progress 10/01/04 to 09/30/05

              Outputs
              4d Progress report. This report documents research conducted under a Specific Cooperative Agreement between ARS and the University of Vermont. Additional details of this research can be found in the report of the parent project 1907- 22410-003-00D "Microbial and Genetic Resources for Biological Control and High-Value Uses". This new agreement was established in May 2005, so no significant results are yet available to report. However the work plan for the remainder of FY-05 and FY-06 includes further work on testing the persistence and efficacy of granular formulations of fungal isolates active against pear thrips (PT; Taeniothrips inconsequens) in maple forest loam soils or against western flower thrips (WFT; Frankliniella occidentalis) in standard soil and soil-free potting media in greenhouses. Particular attention will be given to determining the most effective timing for and the impacts of applications of fungi against WFT in greenhouses. Research on improving formulations for thrips-active fungal isolates will continue. Long-term cryopreservation and cataloging of an extensive collection of fungal cultures isolated from thrips will continue, as will testing of >250 recently isolated strains of Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana against WFT to find optimal isolates for further development against this major pest insect.

              Impacts
              (N/A)

              Publications