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Potential biopesticides for crucifer flea beetle, Phyllotreta cruciferae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) management under dryland canola production in Montana

Briar, Shabeg Singh, Antwi, Frank, Shrestha, Govinda, Sharma, Anamika, Reddy, Gadi V. P.
Phytoparasitica 2018 v.46 no.2 pp. 247-254
Brassica napus, Burkholderia, Chromobacterium, Phyllotreta cruciferae, Steinernema feltiae, adults, arid lands, azadirachtin, beneficial insects, biopesticides, canola, entomopathogenic nematodes, field experimentation, foliar spraying, gels, heat, imidacloprid, leaf area, pests, pollinators, polymers, pyrethrins, seed treatment, seed yield, seedlings, seeds, spinosad, spring, Great Plains region, Montana
The crucifer flea beetle, Phyllotreta cruciferae (Goeze), is an economically important and dominant pest of canola (Brassica napus L) in the Northern Great Plains of the USA. The current flea beetle management strategy is based on using synthetic chemical treated seeds and if necessary, foliar spray of chemicals at canola seedlings in early spring for targeting adult population. However, there is an increasing demand for development of alternative management strategies for P. cruciferae pertaining to concerns over the development of resistance to synthetic insecticides and non-target effects on pollinators and other beneficial insects. Replicated field trials were conducted to test the efficacy of several commercially available biopesticides including Entrust® (spinosad), entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema feltiae + Barricade® (polymer gel 1%), Aza-Direct® (azadirachtin), Pyganic 1.4® EC (pyrethrin), Grandevo® SC (Chromobacterium subtsugae), Venerate® XC (Heat killed Burkholderia sp. strain A396 as seed treatment and foliar application) and Gaucho® (imidacloprid) (chemical check) for the P. cruciferae management at two locations (Conrad and Sweetgrass) of Montana in 2016. Biopesticide products were evaluated based on canola leaf area injury ratings and seed yield levels. Although, there was no clear trend of canola yield increase, selected biopesticide treatments were effective in maintaining low leaf area injury ratings as compared to untreated control. Entrust was able to maintain low leaf area injury ratings (8.5–14.5%) when compared to untreated control (16.0–21.4%) at both the locations. Entomopathogenic nematodes, Steinernema feltiae + Barricade® and Venerate® applied as foliar treatments maintained significantly lower feeding injury pressure at Sweetgrass (11.8%) and Conrad (13.4%) locations respectively, when compared to the untreated control. Our study results suggest that these biopesticide treatment results were comparable in efficacy to the chemical seed treatment Gaucho®. Other two biopesticide products- Aza-Direct® and Pyganic 1.4® EC treatments did not provide effective control of P. cruciferae at both the locations.