In the BIOCOMES project we will develop a novel Biological Control Agent (BCA) based on the egg parasitoid Telenomus sp. to control the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae, one of the major cabbage pests in Europe.
In order to be able to use any insect as BCA a functional mass rearing is required. Therefore the first goal of the project is to develop an efficient rearing of Telenomus sp., that will allow us to conduct large scale field experiments.
Rearing in the laboratory and on the field
Currently we are parallel conducting a rearing in the laboratory and one in the field to test the influence of two different rearing conditions on the parasitation rate and sex ratio of our parasitoid.
Picture 1: Mode of action of Telenomus sp.. The parasitoids lay their eggs into the freshly laid M. brassicae eggs (left), which then turn to black (center). From these eggs the new generation of parasitoid will then hatch (right) instead of the pest larvae (Photo G. Barloggio).
Picture 2: Experimental set up for the comparison of the rearing conditions in the lab (left) and in the field (right) (Photo G. Barloggio).
Read more about our approach to develop a biological control product against cabbage moth.