Potato moths update March 2015

The BIOCOMES research will identify and characterize the entomopathogenic Phthorimaea operculella granulovirus (PhopGV) suitable for control of potato moths and tomato leaf miner.

In BIOCOMES research we will:

  • Select the most virulent strain for greenhouse and field testing
  • Optimize the production of the virus by ensuring its genetic and biological stability
  • Optimize the application strategy for the control of insect pests of solanaceous crops
  • Develop a biocontrol agent ready for marketing

During the first year naturally occurring virus isolates have been searched for in Greece, Italy and on the Canary Islands. The BIOCOMES partners BIOGARD and Hellafarm collected soil samples and partner Public University of Navarra (UPNA) collected soil samples and infested potatoes on the Canary Islands.

After that the biological activity of isolates in terms of virulence and host range will be determined using bioassays. A bioassay protocol has been developed to test for specific virulence of the PhopGV isolates to potato moths and tomato leaf miner. Molecular methods will be applied for strain identification.

Read more about our activities on potato moths

Photo: Close up of collected potatoes in the Canary Islands showing holes, galleries and decoloration due to the boring activity of caterpillars that feed on the tubers. Picture: UPNA.


Johannes Jehle
Johannes Jehle
Tomato leaf miner, potato moths