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Development of an economic rearing and transport system for an arid adapted strain of the predatory mite, Neoseiulus californicus

Objective

Spider mites of the genus Tetranychus are important pests of many food and ornamental crops. Although ' biological control could improve food quality, while reducing health hazards and pesticide resistance, it has not been fully implemented because the efficacy of existing natural enemies is often insufficient in arid climates Neoseiulus califomicus (N.c.) is a natural enemy native to the Mediterranean basin and is relatively efficient against spider mites at lower humidities but is currently produced only in California. This study is a collaborative effort to identify and mass rear a strain of N.c. that will be more efficacious under arid conditions than the standard commercial strain from California. To achieve this goal, N.c. strains will be collected in a number of arid areas worldwide and morphometric and genetic methods will be developed to distinguish between them. The performance of these strains under various climatic regimes and on selected host plants will be evaluated in laboratory and field trials. To provide this product at an affordable cost for European growers we will develop an economic rearing and delivery system for N.c. in Europe. An innovative aspect of this project is the chal1enge of discriminating between genetic and cytoplasmic factors, by identifying bacteria associated with N.c. strains and evaluating their potential influence on the host. This ./' proposal is the first integrated attempt to select for and define a natural enemy strainthat is both suited to arid conditions and economical. The proposed study will help produce safer and healthier fruit and vegetable crops in Southern Europe, where most of Europe's fruits and vegetables are grown, and in dry environments/greenhouses in central, eastern and northern Europe.

Funding Scheme

Cooperative - SMEs-Co-operative research contracts

Coordinator

AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH ORGANIZATION, THE VOLCANI CENTER
Address
Derech Hamacabim 68
Bet Dagan
Israel

Participants (13)

KOPPERT BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS S.L.
Spain
Address
Finca Labradorcico Del Medio 65
Aguilas
BIO-BEE SDE ELIYAHU
Israel
Address
Bet Shean Valley
Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu
ARAVA DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD
Israel
Address
Unknown
Sapir D.n. Arava
CHARANTONIS BIOLOGICAL CROP PROTECTION
Greece
Address
Safrapoleos Str. 35
Skydra
OY SCHETELIG AB
Finland
Address
Tiiilitie 14
Vantaa
KIVUN STRATEGY AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT LTD
Israel
Address
Derech Menachem Begin 116
Tel-aviv
KOPPERT BEHEER BV
Netherlands
Address
Veilingweg 17
Berkel En Rodenrijs
ISRAEL COHEN INSTITUTE FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL, PLANT PRODUCTION AND MARKETING BOARD, CITRUS DIVISION
Israel
Address
Bet Dagan
Bet Dagan
ISTITUTO SPERIMENTALE PER LA ZOOLOGIA AGRARIA
Italy
Address
Via Lanciola 12/A
Firenze
UNIVERSITY OF NATURAL RESOURCES & APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES
Austria
Address
Gregor Mendelstrasse 33
Vienna
ECOLE NATIONALE SUPERIEURE AGRONOMIQUE DE MONTPELLIER
France
Address
Place Pierre Viala 2
Montpellier
ASOCIACIÓN DE COSECHEROS EXPORTADORES DE PRODUCTOS HORTOFRUTÍCOLAS DE ALMERÍA
Spain
Address
Ctra. De Ronda 11, 1°
Almería
BIOHELP - BIOLOGISCHER PFLANZENSCHUTZ - NÜTZLINGSPRODUKTIONS, - HANDELS, - UND BERATUNGS- GMBH
Austria
Address
Kapleigasse 16
Vienna