Details :

Invited paper for oral presentation during National Symposium on

“New Horizons in Pest Management for Sustainable Goals”

on 24-25 November, 2016 at OUAT, Bhubaneswar

 

Bio-intensive Insect Pest Management

 

Anand Prakash1 and Jagadiswari Rao2

K-9B/285, Bhagabanpur, Patrapada, Bhubaneswar-751 019, Odisha

 

1= Founder & General Secretary, Applied Zoologists Research Association (AZRA), Bhubaneswar and Former Director & HOD-Crop Protection, Division, CRRI, Cuttack-753 006, Odisha

 

2= Vice President, AZRA, Bhubaneswar, and Former Principal Scientist, Crop Protection, Division, CRRI, Cuttack-753 006, Odisha

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

ABSTRACT: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is ultimate approach of pest management in agriculture wherein different components of pest control measures viz., varietal, cultural, ecological, chemical, biological control, bio-pesticidal etc. are integrated in suitable manner to form specific IPM modules. For bio-intensive IPM, it is essential to include one or more components of biopesticides (botanicals, microbial pesticides, parasites and/or predators and entomopathogenic nematodes) to reduce the load of synthetic pesticides. IPM is a philosophical approach, which needs to be implemented based on the pest problems of a location but it should be holistic, effective, eco-friendly and socio-economically viable. Success and adoption of any IPM module depend on the benefit cost ratio. If a farmer is getting good return and enough profit by adopting the IPM technology, positively it will be taken up by the farmers even it involve high cost of input. Popularization of bio-intensive IPM modules through IPM village concept is urgently required covering at least a few villages in each district involving both the central and state government departments, KVKs, SAUs & ICAR institutes.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Introduction

The term integrated pest management (IPM) evolved over 80 years of pest control practices through several conception modifications. IPM was accepted by scientific community in 1972 after publication of report under the article by Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ, 1972). Since the definition of integrated control (Stern et al., 1959), more than 65 definitions of integrated control, pest management or integrated pest management have been proposed and a broader definition was adopted by FAO Panel of Experts (FAO, 1967).  In India, concept of IPM was initiated by Dr S. Pradhan, IARI, New Delhi during 1960s, who popularized IPM in crops like sugarcane, cotton, wheat.  

 

IPM is ultimate approach of crop pest management wherein different components of pest control measures viz., varietal, cultural, ecological, chemical, biological control, bio-pesticidal etc. are integrated in suitable manner to form specific IPM modules. IPM is a philosophical approach, which needs to be implemented based on the pest problems but it should be holistic, effective, eco-friendly and socio-economically viable.

 

Though IPM concept was introduced in India in late nineteen sixties, yet it has not been picked up by the farmers in India, the way it should have been. Only about 8% of the total cultivated land is covered by IPM, where at least two components/ control measures other than the suitable variety are integrated, as compared to coverage of pesticides alone accounts to about 20%. Pesticides are still dominating as IPM component in Indian Agriculture. Adoption of IPM technology in India is increasing slow i.e. 2% during 1999-2000 increased to 8% in 2009-10 and the main constraint for IPM adoption is low cost of agri-products or one can say the poor benefit cost ratio. 

After the formulation of an IPM module, it should be validated properly in the large area in the farmers field itself under different agro-climatic conditions. In fact, there is a need to establish a national net-work program through All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on IPM of the crops for reorientation of the plant protection across the crops, pests and agro-climatic regions for evolving coherent recommendations on the planning research and implementing pest management practices in relation to production, protection and climate change scenarios.

 

Thus there is a need to identify the vital gaps of research, IPM recommendations and impact of IPM at all levels. Further, there is a need to demonstrate the ease and success of convergence for area wide implementation of IPM using tools of information technology. It is known that agriculture is a state subject, even though central institutions/ universities have more information regarding the plant protection. To make plant protection more successful, role of state-centre and public-private interface should be enhanced.

 

Why bio-intensive IPM?

Use of pesticidal plants, such as Neem, Derris, and Nicotiana, is an ancient way to control pests in India and these plants were used widely until 1940s, then they were alternated by synthetic pesticides as they are easier to handle and lasted longer. Overenthusiastic use of synthetic insecticides led to problems unforeseen at the time of their introduction. Pesticides are generally persistent in nature. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 200,000 people are killed worldwide, every year, as a direct result of pesticide poisoning. Moreover, the use of synthetic chemicals has also been restricted because of their carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, high and acute residual toxicity, ability to create hormonal imbalance, spermatotoxicity, long degradation period and food residues (Dubey et al., 2011; Khater, 2011).

         

Agro-chemicals especially the pesticides (insecticides, weedicides, fungicides etc) used for plant protection are of great concern of environmental safety as these chemicals not only kill the target pests but also non-target bio-agents like natural enemies (parasites and predators), soil microbes, honey bees (pollinators of cross-pollinated crops), and adversely affect the biodiversity of the agro-ecosystems. Synthetic pesticides also contaminate the precious natural resources like soil and water, which directly or indirectly affect the aquatic life including aquaculture more commonly during rainy season. Therefore, minimizing the use of pesticides is the global demand of the nature for safer environment. Currently attempts are being made to reduce the applications of synthetic pesticides either by developing biotic stress tolerant varieties or by using bio-pesticides (botanical/ plant origin pesticides, microbial, parasites and predators) (Prakash et al., 2016). Keeping in view to minimize the use of synthetic pesticides, the future emphasis may be on eco-friendly integrated pest management having at least one or two components of biopesticides for sustainable agricultural growth. In India, bio-pesticides accounted only 0.2% of total pesticide market during 2000 but their use increased rapidly accounting 2.5% in 2013 with a market value of about one billion US$. For sustainable agricultural growth and environmental safety, use of biopesticides can play a vital role. Biopesticides to be used, include:

 

a.       Plant origin pesticides/ Botanical pesticides

b.         Microbial (Viral, bacterial, protozoan and fungal),

c.       Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) and

d.       Predators and parasitoids

 

a. Botanical pesticides

Botanical pesticides are first generation pesticides being used in Indian agriculture for more than a century. These are higher plant origin pesticides which can directly or indirectly kill or reduce the target pest population. These are the important alternatives to minimize the use of synthetic pesticides as they possess an array of properties including toxicity to the pest, repellency, antifeedancy, insect growth regulatory activities against pests of agricultural importance (Parmar and Kumar, 1993, Prakash and Rao, 1997, Hanem, 2012).

 

About 1075 species of higher plants have beed found to possess pesticidal property against insects, mites, nematodes, molluscans, birds and rodent pests of agricultural importance (Prakash and Rao 1997). Some of the botanicals like neem, bael, ocimum, senwar, pyrethrum, tobacco, karanj, mahua, cymbopogan and sweet flag etc. have already attained the status of potential pesticides of plant origin against field pests and also against insect pests in storage ecosystems (Prakash and Rao 1997). Leaf extracts of bael and ocimum have been successfully used in control of the leaf blast of rice in farmers’ paddy fields in Odisha (Tewari et al., 2010).

 

Botanicals in insect pest management in cereal crops

Against gundhi bug, Leptocorisa acuta, a number of botanicals viz., 5% aqueous leaf extract of king of bitters (Andrographis paniculata), 3% oil emulsion spray of neem (Azadirachta indica), seed extract of orange (Citrus reticulata) and leaf extract of lemon grass (Cymbopogan citratus) are found to protect developing rice grains (Gupta et al., 1990). Seed oil (1%) of custard apple (Annona squamosa) reduced infestation of rice leaf folder and rice green leafhoppers but also checked rice trungo virus (Narasimhan and Mariappan 1988). Neem kernel extract reduced population of WBPH, when sprayed on the rice crop (Mohan and Gopalan 1990). Similarly, 1% neem oil reduced the incidences of rice leaf folder (Mohan et al., 1991), whereas neem cake (de-oiled) soil amendment @ 150 kg/ha and neem oil spray at 10 days intervals checked infestation of C. medinalis (Krishnaiah and Kalode, 1990). Oil of polang (Calophyllum inophyllum) or seed oil of mahuwa (Madhuca indica) and karanj (Millettia pinnata Syn.= Pongamia glabra) as 1% formulation minimized infestation of rice leaf folder (Narsimhan and Mariappan 1988). Aqueous leaf extract of Indian aconite (Aconitum ferox Wall.) reported to be highly toxic to this aphid (Siphocornye indobrassicae).

 

Botanicals in pest management of pulses and vegetable crops

Against gram pod borer (Helicoverpa armigera) 3 and 5% neem kernel extracts and 5% neem oil sprays were effective in reducing its populations in chickpea (Sinha 1993), whereas aqueous leaf extract of rose periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) spray on blakgram reduced its population (Rajasekaran et al., 1987). Karanja oil (2%) prolonged its larval development and growth inhibiting activity (Bajpai and Sehgal 1994). Spray of neem oil (1.5%) showed 100% mortality to mustard aphid, Lipaphis erysimi (Mani et al., 1990). Aqueous leaf extract of English basil (Hyptis suavelobens) was highly toxic to L. erysimi, when sprayed on the cabbage crop (Roy and Pandey, 1991).

 

          Against cabbage aphid, Brevicornye brassicae leaf extract of Annona squamosa and 0.5% neem oil spray on cauliflower showed repellency (Singh and Sharma, 1986). Losses caused by hairy caterpillar (Spilosoma obliqua) could be minimized by sprays of aqueous leaf extracts of Euphorbia royleana or Lantana camera (Sharma et al., 1992). Leaf extracts of Linodenbergia grandifolia, velvet bean (Macuna cochinensis) and Passiflora mollissima showed antifeedancy to this pest (Tripathi et al., 1987, Premchand, 1989). Further, 5% leaf extract of Nyctanthes arbortritis also showed antifeedancy to S. obliqua (Sharma et al. 1992). Mohanty et al. (1988) also found seed oil fraction of Millettia pinnata Syn.= Pongamia glabra and seed oil of babchi (Psoralea corylifolia) to show antifeedant activity to this pest. Further, aqueous leaf extract of needle wood (Schima khasiana) showed strong antifeedancy to S. obliqua (Tripathi et al., 1987), whereas Sharma et al. (1992) found whole plant extract of Swertia chirata to show antifeedancy to this pest.

 

Botanicals in IPM of rice storage insects

A number of plant materials like leaves of senwar/begunia, Vitex negundo, wild sage, Lippia geminata and bael, Aegle marmelos have been found as effective grain protectants @ 1% w/w admixed with the grains and recommended for the management of rice stored insects (Prakash and Rao 1984,1986), whereas leaves of senwar and oils of sesamum, groundnut, castor, mahua, linseed and mustard admixed with the pulse grains @ 1% w/w successfully controlled the infestation of bruchids in storage (Prakash and Rao 1989,  Prakash et al., 1987; Kumari et al.,1990).

 

There are many factors which limit the success of botanicals, most notably regulatory barriers and the availability of the competing products (newer synthetics, fermentation products, microbials) that are cost-effective and relatively safe compared with the predecessors. Persistence of the botanicals in general is very less (few hours to a few days), these are slow in action except pyrethrum and photo-degradable. In agriculture, botanicals are best suited for use in organic food production and for post-harvest protection of the food grains. In India, of 230 pesticides registered as on 31 July, 2011, only two botanical formulations i.e. azadiractin (from neem) and pyrethrum (from Chrysanthemum) have been included in the list of registered pesticides.

 

b. Microbial pesticides

Microbes origin pesticides known as microbial pesticides include i. Viruses (NPV, GV, CPV), ii.  Bacteria (Bt, Pseudomonas spp.), iii. Protozoa (Adelina sp., Nosema sp., Viromorpha sp., Pseudomonocystis sp. and Monocystis sp., iv.  Fungi (Beauveria, Nomurea, Metarhizium, Paecilomyces, Trichoderma spp.) and Nematodes (EPNs- Steinernema sp. and  Heterorhabditis spp.). Microbial pesticides are self-perpetuating and therefore, have long-term effect. These do not pollute the environment. In India, the microbial pesticides registered so far are: Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis. Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, Bacillus thuringiensis var. galleriae, Bacillus sphaericus, Beauveria bassaiana, Trichoderma harzianum, Trichoderma viridae, Lecanicillium (previously Verticillum) lecanii, Nuclear polydedrosis virus for Helicoverpa armigera (NPVHa) and Nuclear polyhedrosis virus for Spodoptera litura (NPVSl). India has a vast potential for biopesticides including microbials. However, its adoption by the farmers needs education for maximizing gains (Dangar, 2007). 

 

Although microbial pesticides are effective but not popular as these are not readily available in the local market. Action of these pesticides is relatively slower than chemical insecticides. Also currently microbial pesticides are costlier than some of the popular insecticides. Microbial pesticides are host-specific and their pathogenicity to un-related hosts may also be tested and considered. These pesticides may be applied before out-break of the pest. Most vital criteria for successful introduction of microbial pesticides application are knowledge of the reliable and cost effective technology, no or negligible toxicity to human beings, non-target species and plants, proven and preferably rapid effect against the intended target pest, and ideal conditions required for efficient performance in the fields are not fully understood. 

 

 

i. Virus based microbial pesticides:

The viral and the bacterial bio-control agents infect insects via their digestive tract while fungi make entry into the host through cuticle.

 

Nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV) belongs to baculovirus group, DNA virus, which has a wide host range, mainly the lepidopteran insects. NPV produces polyhedra of 0.5-2.0 µm sizes and infects nucleus. Virions are included singly or in groups. Virus transmission is per os (oral), transovum or trans ovarion. Infective doses are 10-103 polyhedra/ml.  More than 1000 viruses are known. NPV used for management of major isect pests of agricultural importance are given Table-1

 

Granulosis virus (GV) also belongs to baculovirus group, DNA virus, which has important hosts the lepidopteran insects. GV produces polyhedra of 0.1- 0.3 µm sizes and infects both nucleus and cytoplasm. Virions are included singly. Virus transmission is per os (oral), trans ovum or trans ovarion. Infective doses are 10-105 polyhedra/ml. More than 200 viruses are known.

 

Table-1: Potential virus-based pesticides for management of major insect pests of agricultural importance

Virus

Infective doses

Target pest

NPV

(Nuclear polyhedrosis  virus)

10-103

polyhedra/ml

Helicoverpa armigera, Spodoptera litura,

Plutella xylostella 

Gv (Granulosis virus)

10-105

polyhedra/ ml

Chilo infuscatellus, Cnaphalocrosis medinalis

 

ii. Bacteria based microbial pesticides:

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt): The Gram-positive soil bacteria such as Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sphaericus have been used successfully against lepidopteran insects, but some strains are specific to Diptera and Coleoptera. Today there are strain collections that contain several thousand Bt isolates. Various strains are classified based on their action spectrum, their crystalline toxins and their genetic similarity as given in Table-2.

 

Table-2: Simplified classification of crystalline toxins

Genotype

Action of toxin to

Molecular weight of toxin

cryIA, B, C,

Lepidoptera

About 130 kD

cryIIA, B

Lepidoptera, Diptera

About 70 kD

cryIIIA, B

Coleoptera

About 73 kD

cryIVA, B

Diptera

About 130 kD

cryIVC, D

Diptera

About 75 kD

 

        Because they are highly effective against predominant pests in agriculture and forestry, many Bt products are now used for pest control in India (Table-3). They act selectively against specific pests without harming beneficial organisms and are very safe for the user. Despite a solid over half a century research and development of Bt products, their estimated share of the world insecticide market is still about 2% (2008). The main reason for this low volume increase is: a narrow action spectrum and short duration of action of Bt.

 

It has been observed that a few insects have developed resistance that possesses greatest threat to Bt technology mainly the transgenic plant development (Krattiger, 1997). Thus major concerns of resistance are insect resistance, safety to non-target organisms. Even a single mutation in the insect can cause Bt resistance. Development of resistance of insects (e.g. Helicoverpa sp. and Plutella spp. etc.) has led to develop more virulent Bt (gene pyramiding, synergism) and potent transgenic plants with novel characters and expressions. Besides the kinetics of resistance development and management strategy research have been intensified and worked out.

 

Table-3: Commercial Bt products in Indian market

 Product

Based on

Active against

Producer

Biolep

Bt var. kurstaki

Lepidopteran caterpillars

Biotech International Ltd. New Delhi

Bioasp

Do (asporogenous)

Do

Do

Bacticide

Bt var. israelensis

Rice gall midge

Larvae of mosquitoes

Do

Dipel-8L

Bt var. kurstaki

Lepidopteran caterpillars

Lupin Agro Chemicals

Bombay

Delfin

-ibid-

-ibid-

Sandoz India Ltd., Bombay

Biobit

-ibid-

-ibid-

Ralis India Ltd., Bombay

Halt

-ibid-

-ibid-

Wackhardt Ltd., Bombay

Spicturin

B. thuringiensis

-ibid-

Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd., Madras

                                                                                (Source: Dangar and Das, 2008)

 

Pseudomonas fluorescens: P. fluorescens is an antagonist bacterium, which suppress the pathogens by antibiosis through production various antibiotic substances viz., 2, 4-diacetyl phloroglucinol, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, Oomycin-A, Oxychlororaphine, Pyoluteorin, Pyrrolnitrin and Pyocyanine. P. fluorescens treatment could reduce bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum (Smith) Yabuch in banana, egg plant and tomato under green house and field condition (Anuratha, 1990) and sheath rot (Sarocladium oryzae) in rice and stem rot (Rhizoctonia solani and Sclerotium rolfsii)  in peanut. In India, P. fluorescens 0.5% WP is produced and marketed by registered manufacturers.

 

iii. Fungi-based pesticides:

Entomopathogenic fungi make entry into host through cuticle (outermost covering of insects) and kill the target pest. Moreover, the fungi can be produced easily on a large scale, they are easy to apply and do not leave toxic residues, are environmentally safe, and above all there is no known resistance in insect community against fungal preparations. A number of entomopathogenic fungi are found to be effective against a wide range of pests of agricultural importance) but only 6 fungal formulations are available in the Indian market (Table-4).

 

Table-4: Commercial fungal products in Indian market

Fungus

Product

Host range

Lecanicillium=Verticillum lacanii

Mycotol, vertlac

Scales, aphids

Metarhizium anisopliae

Bio1020, biogreen, green muscle, green guard, metaquino, biopath

Wide host

Beauveria bassiana

Ostrinil, mycotrol WP, boverin, boverol, boverosil, botaniguard

Do

Paecilomyces fumosoroceus

PFR-97, Pre Fe Ral, priority

Mealy bug, mites

Hirsutella thompsoni

Biocatch, mycohit

Mites, hoppers

Trichoderma viridae

Bioderma

Nematodes

                                                                              (Source: Dangar and Das, 2008)

 

          Trichoderma spp. is the most exploited antagonist fungi for the biological control of a wide range of bacterial and fungal diseases. Trichoderma spp. have immense impact on human welfare. The impact of Trichoderma on Indian agriculture is such that in India alone more than 250 Trichoderma based formulations are sold commercially (Singh et al., 2012). Trichoderma spp are being widely utilized for the management of different crop diseases (Sharma et al., 2014). Effective strains of Trichoderma become endophyte plant symbionts in the plant roots, it establish long term chemical communication with plants and being antagonistic fungus, it check the growth of pathogenic fungi and also produce antibiotics (Anonymous, 2012). Trichoderma harzianum produces trichodermin that can inhibit R. solani. Formulations of T. viride (1%W/P, 1.15% WP & 6% WP) and T. harzianum 1% WP are being marketed in India by many registered companies.

 

Apart from biocontrol, Trichoderma spp. are long known to improve plant growth (Harman et al., 2004, Shoresh et al., 2010) through production of phytohormones and other secondary metabolites (Loritto et al., 2010). Trichoderma shows better growth promotion under nutrient stress condition by solubilization of nutrients (Mukherjee et al., 2013a, b).

 

Trichoderma genes can be expressed functionally in plants to confer beneficial features including control of plant diseases. Over expression of T. harzianaum endochitinase gene ech42 were obtained from different plant tissues with no visible effect on plant growth and development. Ech42 have been used to develop transgenic crop conferring resistance to diseases (Zaidi and Singh, 2013). The expression of chit36 gene of T. harzianaum in carrot enhanced tolerance to Alternaria radicina and B. cinerea (Baranski et al., 2008). Transgenic rice having two chitinase genes (ech42 & nag 70) and one beta-1, 3 glucanase (gluc78) of T. atroviride resulted in resistance to Rhizoctonia solani and Magnaporthe grisea in rice (Liu et al., 2004). It is obvious that Trichoderma has tremendous potential to be used for the management of crop diseases without affecting the environment and with no health hazards to the animal kingdom. Thus more focus to be given on the utilization of Trichoderma for the management of plant health in sustainable manner.

 

iv. Protozoa-based pesticides:

Protozoans found to be effective pathogens belong to groups Sporozoa, Eugregarina & Gregarina. Transmission of these protozoans is by oral (per os), transovum or trans-ovarion. Important hosts of these protozoans are silk worm, plant bug, honey bee, grasshoppers, Ephestia and Tribolium spp. etc. Some effective protozoans against the target insects are given in Table-5.

 

Protozoa-based pesticides have not been commercialized yet because of following limitations:

 

1.     Insufficient infection of insect population under natural condition.

2.     Persistence of pathogens under free living conditions in very limited and being obligate pathogens sufficient level of inoculum is not maintained in the nature.

3.     Some of the pathogens caused only chronic infection.

4.     Host range of most of the pathogens is not known.

5.     Mass production of the pathogens for commercial exploitation is difficult as they grow only on the live hosts and no formulation technique has been developed to date.

 

 

 

 

 

Table-5: Effective protozoans for management of pests of agricultural importance

Protozoan

Infective doses

Target pest

Adenia sp.

103-106

pathogens/ml

Silkworm, grasshoppers, Ephestia  sp.

Nosema sp.

-Ibid-

Honey bees, plant bug,

Viromorpha sp.

-Ibid-

Tribolium sp.

Pseudomonocystis sp.

-Ibid-

Leucopholis coneophora (coconut root grub)

Monocystis sp.

-Ibid-

Melolontha melolontha (coconut root grub)

                                                                                  (Source: Dangar and Das, 2008)

 

c. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs)

EPNs (nematodes belong to families Steinernematidae & Heterorhabtidae) are unique bio-control agents having high virulence to quickly kill the lepidopteran and coleopteran pests because of their symbiotic association with bacteria (Xenorhabdus sp. & Photorhabdus luminescens). EPNs are evolved to carry and introduce these bacteria into haemocoel of the insects, which kill the target pests.

 

The desirable attributes of EPNs as an effective IPM component include wide spectrum of insecticidal activity, ability to kill most host within short period, availability of efficient mass culture techniques, exemption by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for registration and Central Insecticide Board CIB, Government of India, use of EPN formulations even in difficult locations in the soil, galleries of the boring insects or even against pests which developed resistance to pesticides, and compatibility with selected fertilizers, pathogens and pesticides like carbofuran, phorate and quinalphos especially to Steinernema glaseri.

 

A number of EPNs species identified and proved effective to kill the target insect pests of agricultural importance are given in Table-6. For the effective use of EPNs, it is crucial to identify and select pathogenic native nematode species and strains, which can adapt to the ecology of the insect host’s prevalent in similar agro-climatic zones. In fact, there seems to be good scope for research on EPN flora-derived toxins to manage non-insect pests like mites in crops.

 

Table-6: Potential EPNs effective against major agri-pests 

Microbes

Infective doses

Target pest

Steinernema carpocaspe,

5x109 ijs/ha

 Scirpophaga incertulas (Rice yellow stem borer), Spodoptera litura, Mythimna separata, Helicoverpa armigera, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato weevil)

S. glaseri

5x109 ijs/ha

S. litura, Myllocerus discolor, Holotrichia sp.

S. masoodi

5x107 ijs/ha

Callosobruchus spp.

S. riobrae

5x109 ijs/ha

Helicoverpa zea

Heterorhabditis zealanica

300-500 ijs/ml

Corcyra cephalonica (Rice moth)

H. bacteriophora

5x109 ijs/ha

Amsacta albistriga

H. megidis

800 ijs/ml

Alcterogystia cadambae (Teak heartwood borer), H. armigera

H. Indica

5x109 ijs/ha

 

1000 ijs/ml

H. armigera, Conogethes punctiferalis (Ginger shoot borer)

Athalia proxima (Mustard sawfly)

Hexamermis sp.

500 ijs/ml

Kusum bug, Leptocoris augur

                                                                        (Source: Sithanantham et al., 2005)

 

Some success stories about utilization of microbial pesticides in India agriculture include (Kalara and Khanuja, 2007) are control of diamond-back moth by Bt, control of mango hoppers and mealy bugs and coffee pod borer by Beauveria, control of Helicoverpa on cotton, pigeon pea and tomato by Bt, control of Helicoverpa on gram by NPV Ha, and  control of rots & wilts by Trichoderma based products.

 

d. Natural enemies (parasitoids and predators)

i. Parasitoids are species, whose immature stage develops on or within a single insect host, ultimately killing the host and have been used in bio-control more than any other type of agent. A successful parasitoid should have a. high reproductive rate, b. host specificity, c. good host searching ability, d. adaptable to different environmental conditions and e. be synchronized with its target host. In fact no parasitoid has all these attributes, but search should be for one with several of the above characters (Rabindra et al., 2006). Recommended parasitoids are presented in Table-7. Parasitoids in general utilized in 3 overlapping types of bio-control.

 

i. Conservation: This type of bio-control is most important, readily available, generally simple and cost effective. Role played by the natural enemy in nature become evident when insecticide use is stopped/ reduced.

 

ii. Classical biological control: This includes introduction of natural enemy to a new locale. This does not always work, due to too less individual release or poor adaptation of the bio-control agent to environment of lack of synchronization between the life cycle of the natural enemies and the pest.

 

 Table-7: Potential parasitoids for management of pests of agricultural Importance

  Crop/

target pest

Parasitoid

Dosage

/ha

Frequency of application

Sugarcane

Chilo spp.

Trichogramma chilonis

50,000

Every 10 days, 8 times starting from 30-d old crop for shoot borer & 6-d old crop for other borers or during egg-laying period

Pyrilla perpusilla

Epiricania melanoleuca

2-3 egg-masses or 5-7 cocoons in 40 selected locations

Releasesare initiated before the onset of rainy season

 

 

 

Rice

Scirpophaga incertulas & Cnaphalocrocis medinalis

Trichogramma japonicum or  Trichogramma chilonis

100,000

30, 37 & 44 days after transplanting

Cotton

Helicoverpa armigera, Earias spp. & Pectinophora gossypiella

Trichogramma chilonis

150,000

Weekly 6 times starting from 40th day after planting or during egg-laying period

Tobacco

Spodoptera litura

Telenomus remus

120,000

5 times at weekly intervals

Coconut

Opisina arenosella

Goniozus nephantidis

3000 adults

Need bases or for each generation

Apple

Eriosoma lanigerum

Aphelinus mali

1000 adults or mummies/

infested tree

Once as soon as infestation is noticed

 

Quadra-

spidiotus perniciosus

Encarsia perniciosi

2000 adults/

infested tree

Once in spring

Cydia pomonella

Trichogramma embryophagum

2000 adults/

infested tree

Release at weekly intervals 

                                                           

                                     

Citrus

Planococcus citri

Leptomatrix dactylopii

3000 adults/

 tree

Need based under expert supervision

Tomato

 

 

 

H. armigera

Trichogramma brasiliense,

T. pretiosum,

 T. chilonis

50,000

Weekly intervals, 6 times fro 25th day after transplanting or during egg-laying period

                                                                                       Source: Prakash et al., 2014

 

iii. Augmentation: This includes supplemental release of the natural enemy which could be inoculative (a few natural enemy released at a critical time of season) or inundative (release of the millions of natural enemy). Habitat manipulation could be a useful approach, wherein the cropping system may be modified to favour or augment the natural enemy.  Presently potential parasitoids amenable to mass production, mainly trichogrammatids, are being reared and marketed by several insectaries (government & private). These are being released against several crop pests. Success with such releases requires appropriate timings, doses, quality of the bio-agent and sufficient number of releases

 

ii. Predators:

Predators are most conspicuous natural enemies that directly feed on the host and kill many preys during their life period. Insects like dragon flies, damsel flies, mirid bugs, coccinellid beetles, spiders, birds etc. are the common predators on various crop pests. Dragon flies and damsel flies are amongst the most conspicuous insects associated with irrigated rice fields. Nymphs of dragon flies and damsel flies are aquatic voracious predators feeding on variety of small invertebrates including mosquito larvae. The adult dragon flies and damsel flies like their nymphs are generalist predators and have been observed to predate on adults of yellow stem borer and leaffolders (Behera and Prakash, 2004). Cyrtorhinus lividipennis (Reuter) is one of the potential predators on planthoppers and green leafhoppers.

 

Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coccinellidæ, Coleoptera), commonly known as mealy bug ladybird is a predator on different mealybugs and is a generalist predator of mealy bugs. Cryptolaemus montrouzieri prefers citrus mealy bugs, Planococcus citri (Risso) and its development from egg to pupa takes 26.09 days on P. citri. The beetle was reared in the laboratory in India on the prey species Planococcus lilacinus and P. citri that were reared on pumpkin and adult predators were released when the mealybug population had built up so that almost the whole of the pumpkin was covered. The development of the predator from egg to adult lasted about 1 month in a glass-house at approximately 25oC. Severe outbreaks of mealy bugs occurred on many coffee estates in South Wynaad, Kerala, in 1976-77. C. montrouzieri was released and the predator virtually eliminated the mealybugs from this plantation. Later, field trials have successfully been conducted against the mealy bug infesting grape vines and guava in India. Thus there is a need to exploit the potential of this predator as mealy bugs are now major pest problems in many horticultural crops.

 

Mass rearing and release of predators may prove useful where chemicals are also used. However, mass multiplication of predators for inundative releases is not economical. Sometimes cannibalism among the members of the same predatory species poses a problem. Hence conservation of natural enemies especially predators in situ is a feasible option of biological control component.

 

The Asian weaver ant, Oecophylla smaragdina, known as the ‘living pesticide’ control over  50 pest species including caterpillars, bugs, beetles, weevils, flies and thrips in several trees like cashew, mango, cocoa, citrus, mahogany etc. (Peng et al., 2004). Several studies suggest that with appropriate management weaver ants can significantly increase fruit yield and reduce the use of pesticides (Van Mele, 2008, Awasthi, 2016).  The great predatory potential of weaver ant can be used through the host plants for the husbandry of weaver ants in home vegetable gardens and a note about the core points that should be taken care of before & after introduction of weaver ants in home orchards (Awasthi, 2016).

 

Future research priorities:

a. For up scaling of the Bio-intensive IPM technology, there is a need for developing pest specific, holistic IPM modules including both IRM & INM components. Validation of IPM modules through All India Coordinated Research Project on IPM (AICRP-IPM), which has never been explored in India, is essentially required. Thus there is an urgent need to establish All India Coordinated project on IPM covering all the major crops and major pests. Popularization of IPM modules through IPM village concept is urgently required covering at least a few villages in each district involving both the central and state government departments, KVKs, SAUs & ICAR institutes.

 

b. There is need to strengthen research on botanical pesticides especially on identification of the active components of the effective botanical pesticides, developing their active formulations and their evaluation against target pests, validation of the botanicals being used under indigenous technological knowledge (ITKs). Exploitation for the botanical fumigants for the management of insects infesting stored food grains as synthetic fumigants have been banned in India.

 

c. Microbial pesticides offer unique opportunities to India, to explore and develop its own natural biopesticide resources in crop protection. Such endeavors will add in conserving foreign cash reserve, improving safety to applicators and consumers and protecting the environment. It should, therefore, be our efforts to exploit such resources and recognize it as a thrust area for development. Ideal environmental conditions suitable for efficiency of the products must be evaluated.

 

d. Use of natural enemies alone to control insect pests does not seem economically feasible especially for the food grain crops. However, satisfactory suppression of pests can be achieved by combined tactics of integrated management, employing or conserving natural enemies to a maximum and using insecticide only when it is unavoidable. Efforts should be made to mass multiply Tetrastichus schoenobii, and other potential bio-agents and also to increase their shelf life.

 

 

 

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Source: OUAT Souvenir