Research into the biological control of the olive fruit pest, Dacus oleae, has included identification of viruses associated with Dacus oleae and the study of microbial toxins against the pest.
2 types of viruses has been found associated with Dacus oleae which have the morphology and size of reoviruses. Numerous efforts to grow either of these in tissue culture, however, have been unsuccessful. Tests of these viruses on laboratory cultures of Dacus oleae have shown that they have no measurable toxicity, but this may be due to the low quantity of viral particles used.
A number of strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, producing delta-endotoxin, have been isolated fromthe Greek environment in which olives grow and have shown promising activity against Dacus oleae. Endotoxins from these strains have been purified and characterized. It has been shown that the factor which activates the toxins is accumulated during storage of the Bacillus thuringiensis cultures at 4 C.
Studies have also been conducted on the genetics of Dacus oleae populations, concentrating particularly on the polytene chromosomes and on the isozyme patterns of the populations.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
CB2 1TN Cambridge