Universidad de Alicante

Biological control of pests: breeding protocol for Sphaerophoria rueppellii for use in biological control of aphids

Posted by Universidad de AlicanteResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

Members of CIBIO Research Institute, led by Professor Maria Angeles Marcos Garcia, head of the Associated Unit to CSIC, have developed a method to raise the dipterans predator Sphaerophoria rueppellii. This insect is known for its efficiency and high specificity predatory sirphid being more suitable as biological control agent against agricultural pests from aphids in a Mediterranean climate crops. The use of this natural enemy for biological control of pests will reduce pesticide use in both agricultural crops and in urban gardens. Have been optimized environmental conditions for breeding, such as diet (both immature and adult stages) to ensure a higher reproductive potential and higher rates of survival. The group is looking for companies interested in acquiring the technology for commercial exploitation.

Innovative aspects

1- The only species of industrially produced sirphid (Episyphus balteatus) does not effectively control aphid pests in Mediterranean cultures, this is why the selection of another species of sirphid to act as a viable alternative in the field Mediterranean was needed. The novelty of this specie is that and in most cases of biological control, using species that are commercially available, or not part of the fauna, in this case, we have managed to breed the species in field trials, proved to have the greatest potential for control.

2- This is the first time that this predator specie is bred in the laboratory and maintain continuously during successive generations breeding in significant amounts from individuals.

3- Due to the invention has been developed by a consolidated research group, it will be applied a Quality Control (under the rules of the International Organisation for Biological and Integrated Control), to ensure the viability and product quality

Description of the technology

This method of rearing the predator Sphaerophoria rueppellii has its main application in the biological control of aphids in crops of Mediterranean climate where the only kind of sirphid commercially available at this time, does not control the pest effectively. Method to raise the dipterans predator Sphaerophoria rueppellii. This insect is known for its efficiency and high specificity predatory sirphid being more suitable as biological control agent against agricultural pests from aphids in a Mediterranean climate crops. The use of this natural enemy for biological control of pests will reduce pesticide use in both agricultural crops and in urban gardens. Have been optimized environmental conditions for breeding, such as diet (both immature and adult stages) to ensure a higher reproductive potential and higher rates of survival. The group is looking for companies interested in acquiring the technology for commercial exploitation.

Specifications

Main advantages of its use

  • The use of these insects will help reduce pesticide use in pest control strategies of aphids, both vegetable crops and in gardens and urban areas where pesticide use is increasingly restricted by law.
  • As Sphaerophoria rueppellii is typical specie of Mediterranean ecosystems, its use in biological control is not associated with major problems arising from the release of alien species like inefficiency in pest control, competing with other natural enemies and possible conversion into invasive species with the resurgence of new ecological imbalances.
  • The Sphaerophoria rueppellii specie is adapted to extreme conditions of temperature and humidity present in cultures of the Mediterranean area, including greenhouses, and its effectiveness in these environments has been proved.
  • The larvae of the Sphaerophoria rueppellii specie prey on more than 40 species of aphids. This wide range of prey with the specific nature of their diet (aphids only), make this specie in the optimal candidate for biological control of aphids in the Mediterranean.

Applications

  • This method of rearing the predator Sphaerophoria rueppellii has its main application in the biological control of aphids in crops of Mediterranean climate where the only kind of sirphid commercially available at this time, does not control the pest effectively.

Related keywords

  • Pesticides
  • Crop Production
  • Horticulture
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry and Related Products
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Garden and horticultural products
  • Biological control of pests
  • Sphaerophoria rueppellii
  • aphids
  • pests
  • Horticulture

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