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Automation of the mass inoculation process of parasitoid Cotesia flavipes

Grant number: 17/14615-8
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: June 01, 2018 - February 28, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal researcher:Elitamara Morsoletto
Grantee:Elitamara Morsoletto
Company:Biocontrol Sistema de Controle Biológico Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de defensivos agrícolas
Comércio atacadista de defensivos agrícolas, adubos, fertilizantes e corretivos do solo
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: Sertãozinho
Pesquisadores principais:
Anderson Iheiji Festuccia Kobayashi ; Rita de Cassia Granzotto Araújo
Assoc. researchers: Afonso Celso Turcato ; Andre Luis Dias ; Gisele Baraldi Messiano
Associated scholarship(s):18/10806-6 - Automation of the mass inoculation process of parasitoid Cotesia flavipes, BP.TT


Diatraea saccharalis, the sugarcane borer, is considered the most important pest in the sugarcane intensive agriculture due, among others, to the high frequency which occurs and the elevated damage which causes. The biological control of this pest through the parasitoid wasp Cotesia flavipes has been widely used as an alternative to chemical pesticides which, besides the most common negative impacts, presents low efficiency due to the difficulty in penetrating inside the stems, where the insect develops. This is the control method most applied in Brazil. However, the present mass rearing process of this parasitoid involves several manual handling procedures are very labor intensive and quality sensitive, becoming a barrier to large-scale production. The manual work restrictions associated with the projection of growth in the sugar cane production, points to the need to innovate this production model, in order to guarantee the parasitoid hegemony over the chemicals use. The automation of the mass rearing process will provide better control and greater productivity, will also reduce human errors, biological agents contamination, required physical space and production costs. Inside the biofactories, the inoculation department is a priority for automation, since it is the main constraint on productivity and the most significant in total cost of production. Therefore, this research project proposes to develop a prototype to automate the process of inoculation, which is carried out by manual handling, bringing the sugarcane borer near the wasp so that the parasitism (or inoculation) can occur. The prototype will consist of a transparent conveyor, on which the caterpillars will be positioned, with upward lighting and a chamber with transparent bottom, installed above the conveyor, and where the wasps will be allocated. The parasitoids are expected to be attracted by the light in addition to the odor of the caterpillars, thus inoculating their eggs in the borer. (AU)

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