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Biological Control in Victorian Grape Vines using Trichogramma Dr. David Bennett Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research La Trobe University.

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Presentation on theme: "Biological Control in Victorian Grape Vines using Trichogramma Dr. David Bennett Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research La Trobe University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biological Control in Victorian Grape Vines using Trichogramma Dr. David Bennett Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research La Trobe University

2 Order : Hymenoptera Family : Trichogrammatidae Genus : Trichogramma Microscopic wasps 145 species worldwide Natural enemies of moths Egg parasitoids What is Trichogramma? A WASP

3 Trichogramma funiculatum

4 Order : Hymenoptera Family : Trichogrammatidae Genus : Trichogramma Microscopic wasps 145 species worldwide Natural enemies of moths Egg parasitoids What is Trichogramma? A WASP

5 T. funiculatum and T. carverae

6 Order : Hymenoptera Family : Trichogrammatidae Genus : Trichogramma Microscopic wasps 145 species worldwide Natural enemies of moths Egg parasitoids What is Trichogramma? A WASP

7 Trichogramma Life Cycle

8 What are egg parasitoids? Different to regular parasites Trichogramma wasps lay their eggs into the eggs of moths Instead of a caterpillar emerging, a fully grown wasp climbs out Egg parasitoids are parasites that have a free-living adult stage Similar to the bad guys in the movie Aliens!

9 T. brassicae on a Helicoverpa moth egg

10 Trichogramma in Biological Control Currently the most widely used insect biological control agents in the world Natural enemies of over 200 pest moth species whose caterpillars attack agricultural crops Released on more than 8 million hectares

11 Pests in Australia Examples of economically important pests include: –Helicoverpa (budworm) in processing tomatoes –Epiphyas postvittana (Lightbrown Apple Moth) in Chardonnay grapevines The latter damage grapes directly and spread Botrytis (bunch rot) Control is difficult with chemical sprays because this species is a leaf roller

12 Chardonnay grapevines

13 Lightbrown Apple Moth in grapes

14 Pests in Australia Examples of economically important pests include: –Helicoverpa (budworm) in processing tomatoes –Epiphyas postvittana (Lightbrown Apple Moth) in Chardonnay grapevines The latter damage grapes directly and spread Botrytis (bunch rot) Control is difficult with chemical sprays because this species is a leaf roller

15 Lightbrown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana

16 Trichogramma in Australia Several endemic species attack pest moth species Natural Trichogramma parasitism rates are inadequate for control and too late in the season Trichogramma carverae is a species which can be bred in captivity on a grain moth host Breeding these wasps in huge numbers allows us to release them in grapevines where the pest has been found.

17 Lightbrown Apple Moth cycle vs Trichogramma cycle

18 Trichogramma in Australia Several endemic species attack pest moth species Natural Trichogramma parasitism rates are inadequate for control and too late in the season Trichogramma carverae is a species which can be bred in captivity on a grain moth host Breeding these wasps in huge numbers allows us to release them in grapevines where the pest has been found

19 Wasp colony Trichogramma carverae reared on eggs of the grain moth Sitotroga cerealella Population founded from 18 wasps collected in Mildura Colony maintained in a controlled environment room at 25 C, in constant light, at 60% humidity and provided with honey and fresh eggs every eleven days

20 Trichogramma in Australia Several endemic species attack pest moth species Natural Trichogramma parasitism rates are inadequate for control and too late in the season Trichogramma carverae is a species which can be bred in captivity on a grain moth host Breeding these wasps in huge numbers allows us to release them in grapevines where the pest has been found

21 release timing is important Lightbrown apple moth cycle vs Trichogramma cycle

22 Conclusions Releases early in the season increase parasitism and improve the level of biological control Can this bio-control agent replace chemical controls in Victorian grapevines? Can we produce Trichogramma strains that are more effective against these pests?

23 Acknowledgements Horticultural Research Development Corporation Grape and Wine Research Development Corporation Australian Research Council

24 Project aims Select for host location ability on potted grapevines under glasshouse conditions Fitness components selected for : –Dispersal ability –Orientation mechanisms –Survival rates –Host plant location –Flight ability –Host acceptance –Oviposition success

25 Glasshouse selections 100 potted vines in full leaf Approximately 4,000 wasps released 120 LBAM egg cards exposed for 3 days Parasitised eggs collected to continue each line Assumption that each egg raft stung by one female, so that top 3% were selected 9 selections (3 populations x 3 selections)

26 Further studies Monitoring egg presence for timing releases Release application rates Dispersal patterns and persistence Life history tradeoffs Impact of food Host deprivation Heritability of body size, wing shape Impact of fungicides

27 Trichogramma carverae forewing structure


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