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Biological control of leatherjackets using insect pathogens. - OF0116T

Leatherjackets (Tipula spp.; larvae of crane flies) are significant pests affecting the organic farming sector. Effective non-chemical methods of protecting organic crops from leatherjackets have not yet been developed, although insect pathogens are a promising method for biological control of these pests. This study will aim to identify and evaluate fungi, nematodes and the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis for their effectiveness as control agents. The pathogens will be sourced from the HRI resource collection. Selected isolates of pathogens with known activity to dipteran pests will be screened in bioassays against laboratory-reared leatherjackets. Virulent isolates will be examined in detail both in laboratory experiments and glasshouse trials on a cereal and a field vegetable. Feeding behaviour of the pests will be studied in order to develop a rational strategy for application of the microbial control agents, and the effect of temperature on the virulence of control microbes (including cold-tolerant nematodes) will be examined. The incidence of insect pathogenic nematodes and fungi in a population of leatherjackets from an organic farm will be recorded. Replicated field experiments with microbial control agents will be conducted at HDRA under appropriate organic crop production systems using relevant methods developed in other, related MAFF-funded projects. Findings of the study will be published in refereed journals and grower-related information made available at HRI and HDRA and open days, and through the trade press.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Biological control of leatherjackets using insect pathogens.   (145k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1998

Cost: £145,847
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
Organic Farming              
Plant Pests and Diseases              
Fields of Study
Organic Farming