Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Special Delivery: Nematode-infected Insect Cadavers

23.11.2011
A custom-made machine for packaging mealworms infected with beneficial nematodes could improve the delivery, timing and use of the wormlike organisms as biological control agents.

The machine is the result of a cooperative research and development agreement involving U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and Southeastern Insectaries, Inc., of Perry, Ga.

The Heterorhabditis and Steinernema nematodes being used can infect and kill a wide array of insect crop pests, including Japanese beetles, vine weevils, root borers and fungus gnats. About 10 years ago, entomologist David Shapiro-Ilan and colleagues with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University showed that the nematodes performed best when applied in the dead bodies of the insect hosts used to mass-produce them. Pest control is then achieved by the nematode progeny that emerge from the insect cadavers. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

A technical hurdle that's kept the insect-cadaver approach from gaining widespread commercial acceptance is the tendency of some commonly used host insects to rupture or stick together during storage, transport and application.

Southeastern Insectaries owner Louis Tedders came up with a solution, namely, packaging the insects in masking tape. He also devised a prototype device to automate the process, which ARS scientists Juan Morales-Ramos and Guadalupe Rojas in Stoneville, Miss., subsequently refined.

Using off-the-shelf parts, for example, they built a device to mechanically sort mealworms by size, with the biggest ones chosen for placement in shallow dishes where nematodes could infect them. After a few days, a mechanical arm reaches in and places the dead, infected mealworms between strips of masking tape at the rate of one insect every two seconds. Eventually, an entire roll is formed, allowing for easy storage, transport and application to pest-infested soils.

Shapiro-Ilan's laboratory tests of the insect-cadaver taping system showed no adverse effects on the nematodes' survival and pest-control ability. Indeed, 15 days after application, nematodes from the taped cadavers killed up to 78 percent of small hive beetles and 91 percent of root weevils used in the tests.

Read more about this research in the November-December 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

Jan Suszkiw | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ars.usda.gov

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New gene for atrazine resistance identified in waterhemp
24.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Researchers discover a new link to fight billion-dollar threat to soybean production
14.02.2017 | University of Missouri-Columbia

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>