Entomopathogenic Nematodes Combined with Adjuvants Presents a New Potential Biological Control Method for Managing the Wheat Stem Sawfly, Cephus cinctus (Hymenoptera: Cephidae)

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Date: Dec. 22, 2016
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 11, Issue 12)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 7,992 words
Lexile Measure: 1470L

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Abstract :

The wheat stem sawfly, (Cephus cinctus Norton) Hymenoptera: Cephidae, has been a major pest of winter wheat and barley in the northern Great Plains for more than 100 years. The insect's cryptic nature and lack of safe chemical control options make the wheat stem sawfly (WSS) difficult to manage; thus, biological control offers the best hope for sustainable management of WSS. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) have been used successfully against other above-ground insect pests, and adding adjuvants to sprays containing EPNs has been shown to improve their effectiveness. We tested the hypothesis that adding chemical adjuvants to sprays containing EPNs will increase the ability of EPNs to enter wheat stems and kill diapausing WSS larvae. This is the first study to test the ability of EPNs to infect the WSS, C. cinctus, and test EPNs combined with adjuvants against C. cinctus in both the laboratory and the field. Infection assays showed that three different species of EPNs caused 60-100% mortality to WSS larvae. Adding Penterra, Silwet L-77, Sunspray 11N, or Syl-Tac to solutions containing EPNs resulted in higher WSS mortality than solutions made with water alone. Field tests showed that sprays containing S. feltiae added to 0.1% Penterra increased WSS mortality up to 29.1%. These results indicate a novel control method for WSS, and represent a significant advancement in the biological control of this persistent insect pest.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A474759893