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Comparison of cauliflower–insect–fungus interactions and pesticides for cabbage root fly control

Razinger, Jaka, Žerjav, Metka, Zemljič‐Urbančič, Meta, Modic, Špela, Lutz, Matthias, Schroers, Hans‐Josef, Grunder, Jürg, Fellous, Simon, Urek, Gregor
Insect science 2017 v.24 no.6 pp. 1057-1064
Beauveria bassiana, Brassica, Clonostachys, Delia radicum, Metarhizium brunneum, Trichoderma atroviride, biological control, biopesticides, cauliflower, field experimentation, fungi, hoeing, lambda-cyhalothrin, nitrogen, pests, plantlets, population dynamics, pupae, rhizosphere competence, roots, spatial variation, spinosad, temporal variation, thiamethoxam
Cabbage root fly (Delia radicum L.) control represents a major challenge in brassica production, therefore different management strategies for its control were tested in conventionally managed open field cauliflower production. Strategies included treatments with low‐risk methods such as nitrogen lime, the insecticide spinosad and the Beauveria bassiana ATCC 74040‐based biopesticide Naturalis. Their effects were compared with treatments based on nonformulated fungal species Metarhizium brunneum, B. bassiana, Clonostachys solani, Trichoderma atroviride, T. koningiopsis, and T. gamsii and commercial insecticides λ‐cyhalothrin and thiamethoxam. Spinosad and thiamethoxam were pipetted to individual plants before transplanting; λ‐cyhalothrin was sprayed after transplanting; nitrogen lime was applied at first hoeing. Nonformulated fungi were delivered onto cauliflower plantlets’ roots as a single pretransplantation inoculation. The cabbage root fly population dynamics exhibited a strong spatiotemporal variation. The lowest number of cabbage root fly pupae recovered from cauliflower roots in the field experiments was recorded in plants treated with spinosad (significant reduction), followed by Naturalis and one of the tested M. brunneum strains (nonsignificant reduction). Significantly more pupae were counted in the nitrogen lime treatment. The field experiments showed that a single drench of cauliflower plantlets with spinosad offered consistent and enduring cabbage root fly control. Naturalis and nonformulated fungal isolates did not decrease cabbage root fly pressure significantly, apparently due to lack of statistical power. The implications of the substantial intra‐ and inter‐annual pest pressure variation and the benefits of using single plant treatments are discussed, and recommendations for improvement of rhizosphere‐competence utilizing biological control strategies provided.