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Floral resources to enhance the potential of the parasitoid Aphidius colemani for biological control of the aphid Myzus persicae

Jado, Rana Hasan, Araj, Salah‐Eddin, Abu‐Irmaileh, Barakat, Shields, Morgan W., Wratten, Steve D.
Journal of applied entomology 2019 v.143 no.1-2 pp. 34-42
Aphidius colemani, Diplotaxis erucoides, Fagopyrum esculentum, Lavandula angustifolia, Lobularia maritima, Mentha piperita, Myzus persicae, Origanum vulgare, Sinapis arvensis, biological control, buckwheat, climate, eggs, fecundity, females, flowers, laboratory experimentation, longevity, marjoram, mint, parasitism, parasitoids, pepper, thyme
Flowering plants have been widely used to enhance biological control. However, this approach has been limited to some extent by the lack of suitable flowering plant species of wide applicability, particularly for global pests. A key example is the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (GPA). It is commonly attacked by the polyphagous koinobiont aphidiidae, Aphidius colemani, which is also of global occurrence. Here, eight flowering plants were evaluated for the potential enhancement of GPA biological control using A. colemani under laboratory conditions. These included buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), alyssum (Lobularia maritima), white rocket (Diplotaxis erucoides.), wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare), thyme (Origanum marjorana) and pepper mint (Mentha piperita). The effects of access to these flowers on the longevity (days), potential fecundity (number of dissected eggs) and parasitism rate for A. colemani compared with the control treatment (water) were studied. Longevity of A. colemani which had access to buckwheat was 4–5 times longer than the control and 2–3 times longer than it was in the other plant treatments; the latter did not differ significantly between each other. Potential fecundity of A. colemani was the highest when it had been provided with buckwheat flowers. Exposing A. colemani to flowering plants for longer time intervals (12 hr and 24 hr) increased the number of eggs produced compared with 6 hr. The number of parasitized aphids/female A. colemani with buckwheat flowers was the highest of all treatments; it ranged from 14 in the control to 219 with buckwheat. Further studies should be carried out under field conditions to determine the effect of a range of flowering plants on A. colemani. For example, although buckwheat was highly effective, in many climates it may be a useful component in mixtures comprising other, more robust species.