Aphids update January 2015
BIOCOMES partner Viridaxis is specialised in the mass production of parasitic wasps for aphid control. These parasitoids are already massively used in some covered crops (vegetables, soft fruits, ornamentals). In the past, Viridaxis developed several specific cocktails of parasitoids for different protected crops. The aim of the BIOCOMES project is to enlarge the experience of Viridaxis to outdoor fruit tree crops.
Results from literature survey
An extensive literature survey done by the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Entomology from the University of Belgrade found
- 201 tritrophic (plant-aphid-parasitoid) associations in Europe on Prunus (peach, plum and cherry), Malus (Apple) and Pyrus (Pear) species
- 32 aphid species are present on those fruit tree crops
- 21 parasitoid species were identified as potentially parasitizing those 32 aphid species.
Biological control potentials
Among the 21 parasitoids identified in the literature review, 10 were selected as potential new biological control agent for the natural aphid control in commercial fruit tree orchards. Those 10 target species will be collected in the field and screened in laboratory on parasitism efficiency (for the most problematic aphid species in commercial fruit tree orchards) and on production efficiency (small scale first). The best species will then be tested on plants (in cages first and then in the field).
Promising sample results
Until now Viridaxis received from other BIOCOMES partners (University of Belgrade and PC Fruit) 94 samples with parasitoids from Belgium, Serbia and Sweden. The first production tests and parasitism efficiency tests done on these samples look promising for some parasitoid species and the first test on plants will be carried out next year.
Read more about our activities on aphids