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A multiple ELISA system for simultaneously monitoring intercrop movement and feeding activity of mass-released insect predators

Hagler, J.R., Naranjo, S.E.
International journal of pest management 2004 v.50 no.3 pp. 199
Hippodamia convergens, predatory insects, monitoring, predation, spatial distribution, dispersal behavior, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, biomarkers, immunoglobulin G, analytical methods, beneficial insects, biological control agents, Bemisia argentifolii, insect pests, Gossypium hirsutum, cotton, Cucumis melo subsp. melo var. cantalupensis, cantaloupes, biological control, mark-recapture studies, Arizona
We combined two protein-marking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) with a predator gut content ELISA to monitor the movement and feeding activity of commercially-purchased Hippodamia convergens Guèrin-Mèneville (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) under realistic field conditions during two field seasons in central Arizona. The protein-marking ELISAs were used to differentiate released H. convergens from the native beetles. Commercially purchased beetles marked with rabbit immunoglobulin G (IgG) were released into cotton fields and chicken IgG marked beetles were released into adjacent cantaloupe fields. Results showed that the total native beetle abundance in each crop was about the same size. The recovery rates after 15 days for the released beetles were less than 1.0% over all the releases, indicating that they dispersed readily from the release site. Of the recaptured beetles containing rabbit IgG (cotton), 82.2% were recovered in cotton and 11.8% moved to cantaloupe. Of those containing chicken IgG (cantaloupe), 66.5% were recovered in cantaloupe and 33.5% moved to cotton. A predator gut content ELISA was used to determine if there were differences in the frequency of predation of released versus indigenous H. convergens on the silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae). The proportion of beetles containing whitefly antigens was always higher for the released beetles than for their native counterparts. Our results demonstrate an approach to combine protein marking and predator gut content ELISAs that allows the simultaneous comparison of feeding and intercrop movement of native and commercially-obtained biological control agents.