Evaluation of a baculovirus bioinsecticide for small-scale maize growers in Latin America

Williams, T, Goulson, D, Caballero, P, Cisneros, J, Martínez, A M, Chapman, J W, Roman, D X and Cave, R D (1999) Evaluation of a baculovirus bioinsecticide for small-scale maize growers in Latin America. Biological Control, 14 (2). pp. 67-75. ISSN 1049-9644

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Near identical trials conducted concurrently in maize plots in Honduras and Mexico produced similar results in the pattern of larval mortality of Spodoptera frugiperda following application of a baculovirus or a conventional synthetic insecticide. The highest application rates of virus resulted in approximately 40% mortality of S. frugiperda larvae. Virus-induced mortality decreased with time. Parasitism by wasps and tachinids also contributed up to 40% mortality in field-collected larvae. The application of chlorpyrifos resulted in a resurgence of S. frugiperda. Chlorpyrifos also reduced a number of important predators in the maize crop which is likely to have been influential in the observed resurgence of this pest. The use of granulated sugar in the viral formulation caused an increase in the population density of several maize-associated insect species, and in Mexico a transient increase in parasitism was observed in sugar-treated plots. Sugar did not appear to increase the probability of infection by acting as a feeding stimulant in either trial. A preliminary analysis of the cost of vital production and application indicates that virus was considerably more costly than conventional control. To be commercially viable, economies of scale both in the cost of raw material for the insect diet and in the efficiency of manpower-related activities are needed to substantially reduce the costs of the viral product. Despite high levels of infestation by S. frugiperda, grain weight/cob was not significantly improved by the application of the biological or synthetic insecticide. Natural mortality factors both biotic and abiotic appear to have a large impact on larval S. frugiperda populations. For improvements in yield, the impact of control measures against S. frugiperda may be dependent on plant growth stage. Trials on timing and frequency of virus application are in progress to test this idea.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2014 11:21
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2014 11:21
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/51301
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