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Exploiting natural enemies in Integrated Pest Management in blackcurrant crops - HH1942SSF

Until recently, pest control in blackcurrant crops has been by routine sprays of broad-spectrum insecticides largely because of the need to control blackcurrant gall mite, the vector of reversion virus disease which causes sterility in blackcurrant and which is the principle factor limiting the life of plantations. A gall mite and a reversion virus resistant blackcurrant variety have now been released so routine sprays of broad-spectrum insecticides may no longer be required opening the opportunity to develop IPM techniques with reduced, safer pesticide use. The overall aim of this proposed project is to develop effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches for the main pests of blackcurrant-gall and spider mites. blackcurrant leaf midge and aphids. The approaches include the combined use of host plant resistance, natural enemies and selective insecticides. This is consistent with the policy objectives of minimal and safe use of pesticides to protect health and safety and the environment and to foster a competitive UK horticulture industry. It is intended that the successful IPM techniques developed will be used by UK blackcurrant growers.
1. To determine whether the use of host plant resistance to the gall mite (in cv Ben Hope) or to reversion virus disease (in cv Ben Gairn) combined with two sprays of sulphur (at the start and peak of migration of the gall mire) can adequately prevent gall mite and/or reversion disease infection under conditions of severe pest pressure. To determine the effect of such approaches on the natural enemies of other important pests.

2. To determine the species composition of the predatory phytoseiid mite fauna on blackcurrant and how phytoseiid and spider mite populations are affected by the IPM strategies for gall mite control in objective 1 above.

3. To determine whether the parasitoid Platygaster demades can be exploited as a natural enemy of blackcurrant leaf midge and whether it is adversely affected by the IPM strategies in objective 1 or a pre-blossom spray of chlorpyrifos or pirimicarb.

4. To characterise the natural enemy complex of currant sowthistle aphid and to quantify levels of natural enemy attack in an IPM programme.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Exploiting natural enemies in Integrated Pest Management in blackcurrant crops   (230k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2000

To: 2003

Cost: £92,269
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International
Disease Control              
Pest Control              
Plant diseases              
Fields of Study