Biological and ecological factors contributing to the successful use of entomopathogenic nematodes (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) for the control of codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) under South African conditions

De Waal, Jeanne Yvonne (2011-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) is a devastating pest of pome fruit in temperate regions of the world. Control of this pest, previously involved the extensive use of broad-spectrum insecticides. However, concerns over human safety, environmental impact, widespread dispersal of resistant populations of codling moth and the sustainability of synthetic pesticides in agroecosystems, has encouraged the development and use of alternative environmentally-friendly pest management technologies including the use of entomopathogenic nematodes. These nematodes are lethal pathogens of insects and belong to the families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae, and are ideal candidates for incorporation into the integrated pest management programme currently being developed for residue-free pome fruit production in South Africa. The biological and ecological factors pertaining to the successful use of these nematodes for the control of codling moth were investigated in this study. Their use for bin-disinfestations was evaluated, focusing on the optimum handling conditions to ensure the survival and subsequent efficacy of the nematodes. The study proved that the local isolate SF41 of Heterorhabditis zealandica Poinar 1990 could be used for successful bin-disinfestation. The use of the same nematode isolate was also investigated for the disinfestation of mulch layers of diapausing codling moth larvae. An insect containment device which allowed for direct trial efficacy evaluation was identified and ecological factors pertaining to the successful use of nematodes for mulch disinfestation were investigated. The biological control potential of local nematode isolates, which had previously never been tested against codling moth larvae, was investigated in the laboratory under conditions as can be expected during orchard applications. The efficacy of the selected isolates was confirmed in field experiments. Innovative insect containment methods for above-ground trial efficacy evaluation in the field were investigated. Desiccation proved to be the most limiting factor to the survival and subsequent efficacy of the nematodes during field applications in temperate regions. The effect of low moisture levels on H. zealandica’s efficacy to control diapausing codling moth larvae was subsequently investigated and a starch-based formulation was further tested to overcome the issue of desiccation. Conclusive results indicated that there were several biological and ecological factors influencing the survival of nematodes and illustrated how these factors could be manipulated to overcome these issues and thereby ensure the efficacy of treatments. This is the first report of its kind to comprehensively investigate the use of South African entomopathogenic nematodes for the control of diapausing codling moth larvae and all results emanating from the study can be integrated into a framework for the commercial use of these nematodes in this regard in future.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kodlingmot, Cydia pomonella (L.) is ‘n ernstige sleutelplaag in appel- en peerboorde in gematigde klimaats gebiede wêreldwyd. In die verlede is hoofsaaklik breëspektrum insektedoders gebruik vir die beheer van hierdie plaaginsek. Maar, kommer oor veiligheid vir die mens, impak op die omgewing, verspreiding van weerstandbiedende populasies van kodlingmot en beperkte volhoubaarheid van sintetiese plaagdoders het die ontwikkeling en gebruik van alternatiewe plaagbeheer tegnologieë, insluitend die gebruik van entomopatogeniese nematodes, genoodsaak. Entomopatogeniese nematodese horende tot die families Steinernematidae en Heterorhabditidae, is ideale kandidate vir insluiting in die geïntegreerde plaagbestuur programme wat huidiglik ontwikkel word vir gebruik in plaaslike boorde met die uiteindelike doel om residu-vrye vrugte te produseer. In hierdie studie word die biologiese en ekologiese faktore bestudeer wat die sukses van ‘n nematode-toediening gemik op kodlingmot beïnvloed. Hierdie studie het bewys dat die lokale SF41 isolaat van Heterorhabditis zealandica Poinar 1990 gebruik kan word om vrugtekratte te disinfesteer van kodlingmot. Die gebruik van dieselfde isolaat vir die disinfestasie van deklae is ook ondersoek. ‘n Metode van insek-inkamping is ook ontwikkel wat die evaluering van toedienings vergemaklik en meer effektief maak. Die omgewings-toestande wat ook bydrae tot die oorlewing en gevolglike sukses van ‘n toediening is ook ondersoek. Die biologiese beheer potensiaal van ‘n paar lokale isolate wat nog nooit voorheen teen kodlingmot getoets is nie, is ook bestudeer. Die isolate se effektiwiteit is ook bevestig in veldproewe en insek-bekampings metodes wat meer van toepassing is vir bogrondse plaaginsekte is ook geïdentifiseer. Resultate dui daarop dat vogverlies en gevolglike uitdroging van nematodes die grootste beperkende faktor is vir hierdie tipe toedienings in gematigde gebiede en ‘n stysel-gebaseerde formulasie is dus ondersoek om hierdie probleem te oorkom. Die uiteindelike gevolgtrekking van die studie was, dat alhoewel daar verskeie biologiese en ekologiese faktore is wat die oorlewing van nematodes beperk, daar tog verskeie maniere is om hierdie faktore te manipuleer en sodoende te oorkom, wat bydrae tot die uiteindelike sukses van ‘n toediening. Hierdie is die eerste studie wat werklik die praktiese gebruik van lokale entomopatogeniese nematodes vir die beheer van kodlingmot ondersoek en alle bevindinge kan geïntegreer word in toekomende riglyne vir die kommeriële gebruik van nematodes vir die beheer van kodlingmot.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17893
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