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Use of mirids predators for biological control of pests

Grant number: 16/12771-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2016
Effective date (End): January 03, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal Investigator:José Maurício Simões Bento
Grantee:Diego Bastos Silva
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):18/25151-5 - Do Synthetic Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles Enhance Biological Control by Mirid Predators in Greenhouses?, BE.EP.PD


Brazil has been highlighted globally for the success achieved with the use of biological control agents for pest management. Biological control agents have been successfully employed for several economically important crops. However, in the case of entomophagous insects, these results have been obtained almost exclusively by parasitoids. Although predators also present high potential for biological control and exhibit high diversity in Brazil, such strategies have received little attention. Due to such a lack of data, the objective of this project is to evaluate three recently found mirid predators: Campyloneuropsis infumatus (Carvalho), Engytatus varians (Distant) and Macrolophus basicornis (Stal). These predators will be evaluated as biological control agents of tomato pests, aiming to: (i) evaluate the prey capacity of the three mirid species to the spider mite Tetranichus urticae Koch and prey preference between different T. urticae stages, as well as prey preference between T. urticae and the whitefly Bemisia tabaci Gennadius; (ii) to investigate the tomato defense mechanisms induced by herbivory of these two pests (T. urticae and B. tabaci); and (iii) to evaluate the olfactory responses of mirid predators to induced plant volatiles released by tomato plants infested with its prey. The methods employed for these studies include: prey capacity and preference tests; olfactometer assays; behavioral tests; measurement of phytohormones; and collection and analysis of tomato plant volatiles. The project will reveal the tomato adaptive mechanisms in conditions that closely mimic a field setting; beyond the evaluation of potential biological control agents.

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Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BUENO, VANDA H. P.; LINS, JR., JURACY C.; SILVA, DIEGO B.; VAN LENTEREN, JOOP C.. Is predation of Tuta absoluta by three Neotropical mirid predators affected by tomato lines with different densities in glandular trichomes?. ARTHROPOD-PLANT INTERACTIONS, v. 13, n. 1, p. 41-48, . (16/12771-0)
NARANJO-GUEVARA, NATALIA; PENAFLOR, MARIA FERNANDA GOMES VILLALBA; SILVA, DIEGO BASTOS; BENTO, JOSE MAURICIO SIMOES. A comparison of the direct and indirect defence abilities of cultivated maize versus perennial and annual teosintes. Chemoecology, v. 31, n. 1, p. 63-74, . (16/12771-0, 14/50871-0)
SOUSA, ANA LUIZA V.; SILVA, DIEGO B.; SILVA, GUILHERME G.; BENTO, JOSE MAURICIO S.; PENAFLOR, MARIA FERNANDA G. V.; SOUZA, BRIGIDA. Behavioral response of the generalist predator Orius insidiosus to single and multiple herbivory by two cell content-feeding herbivores on rose plants. ARTHROPOD-PLANT INTERACTIONS, v. 14, n. 2, . (16/12771-0, 14/50871-0)
SILVA, DIEGO B.; JIMENEZ, ALEJANDRO; URBANEJA, ALBERTO; PEREZ-HEDO, MERITXELL; BENTO, JOSE M. S.. Changes in plant responses induced by an arthropod influence the colonization behavior of a subsequent herbivore. Pest Management Science, v. 77, n. 9, p. 4168-4180, . (14/50871-0, 16/12771-0)
SOUZA, IVANA LEMOS; SILVA, DIEGO BASTOS; SILVEIRA, LUIS CLAUDIO PATERNO; BENTO, JOSE MAURICIO SIMOES; PENAFLOR, MARIA FERNANDA GOMES VILLALBA; MARUCCI, ROSANGELA CRISTINA. A parasitoid's dilemma between food and host resources: the role of volatiles from nectar-providing marigolds and host-infested plants attracting Aphidius platensis. NATURWISSENSCHAFTEN, v. 109, n. 1, . (14/50871-0, 16/12771-0)

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