Orchard and bin treatment with entomopathogenic nematodes (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) for the control of the codling moth (Cydia pomonella)

Odendaal, Deidre (2015-12)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is the key pest of apples and pears worldwide. The withdrawal of certain fundamental chemicals from codling moth management spray programmes, due to concerns about human, environmental and ecosystem health, has resulted in the search for softer, more environmentally friendly, and safer control measures. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs), naturally occur in the soil, and actively search for hosts. The interest in using EPNs from the families Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae as a control measure was sparked in 1953, when an EPN was discovered in an insect. The aim is to incorporate EPNs in an integrated pest management (IPM) programme, to ensure minimal residue and eventually residue-free pome fruit production in South Africa. In order to ensure EPN success, both the environmental and technical factors influencing their efficacy, were investigated in this study. The biocontrol potential of three imported EPN isolates, being Steinernema feltiae and two isolates of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Hb1, Hb2), as well as a local isolate, Steinernema yirgalemense, were evaluated for the control of the codling moth under local conditions. All concentrations of S. yirgalemense, applied by immersion in a suspension of nematodes, gave > 98% control. The two formulated isolates of H. bacteriophora, Hb1-f and Hb2-f, gave < 30% control. When using the same nematode isolates, produced in vivo, S. yirgalemense still resulted in a higher codling moth control of > 90%, compared to 54% and 31% control of the H. bacteriophora Hb1 and Hb2 isolates, respectively. In follow up field trials, S. feltiae resulted in ≥ 80% control, and was thus more effective than both S. yirgalemense and the H. bacteriophora (Hb1) isolates, with 66% and 24%, and 24% and 9% control, for two separate trials, respectively. To validate the data obtained from the field trials, subsequent laboratory bioassays were conducted evaluating temperature regimes, following the same cycle as under natural conditions, with a constant humidity of 100%. Steinernema feltiae proved to be most effective, causing > 90% mortality, followed by S. yirgalemense, with 78% mortality. The two H. bacteriophora isolates (Hb1, Hb2) under the above-mentioned laboratory conditions, resulted in 73% and 59% control, respectively. Humidity thus seems to be the most important factor affecting EPN efficacy during above-ground applications. Steinernema feltiae proved to be a better candidate than S. yirgalemense for the control of the codling moth. The efficacy of different EPN isolates in controlling diapausing codling moth larvae at different temperatures was also evaluated, under local conditions, using spray application. Steinernema feltiae and two isolates of H. bacteriophora Hb1 and Hb2, including two local isolates, S. yirgalemense and Steinernema jeffreyense, were evaluated. The use of S. jeffreyense resulted in the most effective control, with 67% mortality, followed by H. bacteriophora (Hb1) with 42%, and then by S. yirgalemense with 41%. Laboratory bioassays simulating field conditions revealed that S. feltiae was most virulent to codling moth larvae, with 67% mortality by infection, followed by S. yirgalemense with 58%, the H. bacteriophora strain Hb1 with 48%, and the Hb2 strain with 24%. A comparison of the infection and penetration rate of two isolates of H. bacteriophora (Hb1, Hb2), S. feltiae and S. yirgalemense, which was carried out in multiwell plates at 14°C and 25°C, respectively, confirms the dramatic effect of temperature on EPN efficacy. At 14°C, all treatments with EPN species resulted in slower codling moth mortality than they did at 25°C, as after 48 h, < 15% mortality was recorded for all species, whereas at the warmer temperature, > 98% mortality was recorded for all species. After the exposure of washed, cool-treated larvae to 25°C for 24 h, the application of both S. feltiae and S. yirgalemense resulted in 100% mortality, whereas the application of the two H. bacteriophora isolates, Hb1 and Hb2, resulted in 68% and 54% control, respectively, over the same time period. At 14°C, S. feltiae had the highest average penetration rate of 20 IJs/insect, followed by S. yirgalemense with 14 IJs/insect, whereas S. yirgalemense had the highest penetration rate at 25°C, with 39 IJs/insect, followed by S. feltiae, with 9 IJs/insect. The two H. bacteriophora isolates had higher average penetration rates at the higher temperature. This study has highlighted the biocontrol potential of S. jeffreyense, as well as showing that S. feltiae is a cold-active nematode, whereas the other three EPN isolates prefer warmer temperatures. Stacked wooden fruit bins are regarded as preferred overwintering sites for codling moth diapausing larvae. Control strategies against the codling moth in South Africa have been hampered by the reinfestation of orchards by nearby stacked infested fruit bins or by the movement of bins between orchards. Worldwide, wooden fruit bins are systematically being replaced with plastic bins, which, in South Africa, will only be phased out over a few years. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of H. bacteriophora, S. feltiae, and S. yirgalemense, to disinfest miniature wooden fruit bins under controlled conditions in the laboratory. After dipping minibins in a suspension of 25 IJs/ml of all three EPN species, under optimum conditions of temperature and humidity, the highest percentage of control was obtained using S. feltiae (75%) followed by S. yirgalemense (57%), and then by H. bacteriophora (Hb1) (27%). The addition of adjuvants significantly increased (p < 0.001) S. feltiae infectivity to > 95%, whereas it did not result in a significant increase in H. bacteriophora or S. yirgalemense infectivity. The results indicated that H. bacteriophora would not be a suitable candidate to use for the control of the codling moth larvae in wooden fruit bins. The current preferred candidate for control would be S. feltiae, whose efficacy could be increased by means of the addition of an adjuvant. During winter, when the whole codling moth population are larvae and in diapause, no control measures are applied in orchards. This study has shown that EPNs can be sprayed in orchards to lower the codling moth cohort emerging after winter, as well as be included in an IPM programme. EPNs can act as a second line of defence, through supplementary control, and ensure effective control of the codling moth larvae which survived chemical spray applications, to safeguard against resistant codling moth populations in the next season.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kodlingmot, Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is ‘n belangrike plaag van appels en pere wêreldwyd. Die onttrekking van sekere fundamentele chemikalieë vanuit die kodlingmot beheerprogram weens die kommer oor menslike, omgewings en ekosisteemgesondheid, het gelei tot die soektog na sagter, meer omgewingsvriendelike en veiliger beheermaatreëls. Entomopatogeniese nematodes (EPNs) kom natuurlik in die grond voor en soek aktief na gashere. Die belangstelling in die gebruik van EPNs van die families Heterorhabditidae en Steinernematidae as 'n beheermaatreël is te danke aan die ontdekking van 'n EPN in ‘n insek in 1953. Die doel is om EPNs in 'n geïntegreerde plaagbeheerprogram (GPB) te inkorporeer om sodoende minimale residue te verseker en uiteindelik residu vrye produksie van kernvrugte in Suid-Afrika. Ten einde die sukses van EPNs te verseker, is beide die omgewings- en tegniese faktore wat hul doeltreffendheid beïnvloed in die studie ondersoek. Die biologiese beheer potensiaal van drie ingevoerde EPN isolate, Steinernema feltiae en twee Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Hb1, Hb2) isolate, sowel as 'n plaaslike isolaat, Steinernema yirgalemense, is vir die beheer van kodlingmot onder plaaslike toestande geëvalueer. Alle konsentrasies van S. yirgalemense, wat deur indompeling in ‘n suspensie van nematodes toegedien is, het > 98% beheer tot gevolg gehad. Die twee geformuleerde isolate van H. bacteriophora, Hb1-f en Hb2-f, het < 30% beheer gegee. Met die gebruik van dieselfde nematode isolate, wat in vivo geproduseer is, het S. yirgalemense nog steeds 'n hoër kodlingmot beheer van > 90% opgelewer, in vergelyking met die 54% en 31% beheer van die H. bacteriophora Hb1 en Hb2 isolate, onderskeidelik. Steinernema feltiae het in opvolg veldproewe ≥ 80% beheer tot gevolg gehad en was dus meer effektief as beide S. yirgalemense en die H. bacteriophora (Hb1) isolate, met 66% en 24% en 24% en 9% beheer onderskeidelik in twee afsonderlike veldproewe. Om die resultate van die veldproewe te bevestig, is daaropvolgende laboratorium biotoetse uitgevoer en temperatuur regimes is geëvalueer deur die selfde siklus as onder natuurlike toestande te volg, met 'n konstante humiditeit van 100%. Die studie het bewys dat S. feltiae die mees doeltreffende isolate was met > 90% mortaliteit, S. yirgalemense het gevolg met 78% mortaliteit. Die twee H. bacteriophora isolate (Hb1, Hb2) het onderskeidelik onder bogenoemde laboratorium toestande 73% en 59% beheer tot gevolg gehad. Humiditeit blyk dus die belangrikste faktor te wees wat EPN se doeltreffendheid tydens bogrondse toediening affekteer. Die studie het bewys dat S. feltiae 'n beter kandidaat as S. yirgalemense vir die beheer van kodlingmot is. Die doeltreffendheid van verskillende EPN isolate vir die beheer van diapause kodlingmot larwes sowel as EPN se aktiwiteit by verskillende temperature is ook onder plaaslike toestande, deur bogrondse bespuitings, geëvalueer. Steinernema feltiae en twee isolate van H. bacteriophora (Hb1, Hb2), S. yirgalemense en ‘n ander plaaslike isolaat, Steinernema jeffreyense, is geëvalueer. Die gebruik van S. jeffreyense, het tot die mees effektiewe beheer gelei, met 67% mortaliteit, gevolg deur H. bacteriophora (Hb1) met 42%, en dan S. yirgalemense met 41%. Laboratorium biotoetse wat veldtoestande simuleer, het bewys dat S. feltiae die mees doeltreffend teen kodlingmot larwes is, met 67% mortaliteit tydens infeksie, gevolg deur S. yirgalemense met 58%, die H. bacteriophora Hb1 isolaat met 48%, en die Hb2 isolaat met 24%. 'n Vergelyking van die infeksie- en penetrasie tempo van twee isolate van H. bacteriophora (Hb1, Hb2), S. feltiae en S. yirgalemense wat in 12-put plate teen 14°C en 25°C uitgevoer is, het die dramatiese effek van temperatuur op EPN doeltreffendheid bevestig. By 14°C het alle EPN spesies behandelings stadiger kodlingmot mortaliteit as by 25°C na 48h tot gevolg gehad. ‘n Mortaliteit van < 15% is vir alle spesies aangeteken terwyl by die warmer temperature is > 98% mortaliteit vir alle spesies aangeteken. Na die blootstelling van afgespoelde, koel behandelde larwes aan 25°C vir 24 uur, het die toediening van beide S. feltiae en S. yirgalemense, 100% mortaliteit van larwes tot gevolg gehad terwyl die toediening van die twee H. bacteriophora isolate, Hb1 en Hb2, onderskeidelik 68% en 54% beheer tot gevolg gehad, oor dieselfde tydperk. By 14°C, het S. feltiae die hoogste gemiddelde penetrasie tempo van 20 ILs/ larwe, gevolg deur S. yirgalemense met 14 ILs/ larwe tot gevolg gehad, terwyl S. yirgalemense die hoogste penetrasie tempo getoon het by 25°C met 39 ILs/ insek, gevolg deur S. feltiae met 9 ILs/ insek. Die twee H. bacteriophora isolate (Hb1 en Hb2) het ook hoër gemiddelde penetrasie tempo by die hoër temperatuur getoon. Hierdie studie het die biobeheer potensiaal van S. jeffreyense beklemtoon, asook weereens bevestig dat S. feltiae ‘n koue-aktiewe nematode is, terwyl die ander drie EPN isolate warmer temperature verkies. Hout vrugtekratstapels, word beskou as ‘n ideale oorwintering skuiling vir kodlingmot diapause larwes. In Suid-Afrika word beheerstrategieë teen kodlingmot in die wiele gery deur die herbesmetting van boorde deur nabygeleë besmette hout vrugtekratte of deur die beweging van kratte tussen boorde. Hout vrugtekratte word wêreldwyd stelselmatig vervang met plastiek kratte. Dit sal egter eers oor ‘n aantal jare in Suid-Afrika uitgefaseer word. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die potensiaal van H. bacteriophora, S. feltiae, en S. yirgalemense te evalueer deur miniatuur hout vrugtekratte onder gekontroleerde toestande in die laboratorium te disinfekteer. Na die onderdompeling van die mini vrugtekratte in 'n nematode suspensie van 25 ILs/ml van al drie EPN spesies, onder optimale toestande van temperatuur en humiditeit, is die hoogste persentasie van beheer met die gebruik van S. feltiae (74,85% ± 3.64%) verkry. Die byvoeging van toevoegings middels het S. feltiae se vermoë om te infekteer betekenisvol (p <0,001) tot > 95% verhoog, maar dit het nie tot 'n betekenisvolle toename in die infektiwiteit van H. bacteriophora of S. yirgalemense gelei nie. Die resultate dui daarop dat H. bacteriophora nie 'n geskikte kandidaat is om te gebruik vir die beheer van kodlingmot larwes in besmette hout kratte nie. Die voorkeurkandidaat tans vir beheer is S. feltiae, waarvan die doeltreffendheid verhoog kan word deur middel van die byvoeging van 'n bymiddel. Gedurende die winter wanneer die hele kodlingmot populasie as larwes in diapause is, word geen beheer in boorde toegepas nie. Hierdie studie het getoon dat EPNs in boorde gespuit kan word om sodoende die opkomende kodlingmot populasie na die winter te verlaag en kan ook ingesluit word in 'n GPB program. Die EPNs kan as 'n tweede verdedigingslinie optree en doeltreffende beheer van kodlingmot larwes verseker wat chemiese bespuitings oorleef het, en sodoende beskerming teen weerstandige kodlingmot populasies in die volgende seisoen bied.

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