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Ice-Nucleating Active Bacteria Decrease the Cold-Hardiness of Stored Grain Insects

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This report provides further evidence that a freeze-dried, concentrated form of Pseudomonas syringae, an ice-nucleating active bacteria, reduces the cold tolerance of stored grain insect pests. Application of ice-nucleating bacteria to wheat or corn that contained insect pests decreased the insects' supercooling capacity: after treatment with 100 ppm of P. syringae the mean supercooling points of five insect species increased from 4.7 to 11.9 above untreated controls. Treatment with P. syringae also decreased the capacity of insects to survive a 24-h exposure to subzero temperatures. Decreases in cold tolerance were observed in eight species of stored grain pests: Indianmeal moth larvae, Plodia interpullctella (Hubner); red flour beetle adults, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst); flat grain beetle adults, Cryptolestes pusillus (Schon herr); rusty grain beetle adults, Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens); Gibbium psylloides (Czenpinski); lesser grain borer adults, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.); yellow meal worm larvae, Tenebrio molitor (L.); and granary weevil adults, Sitophilus granariusgranarius (L.). Results of this study provide further support for the use of ice-nucleating active bacteria as biological insecticides to kill overwintering insects by decreasing their low temperature tolerance. The approach may be particularly appropriate for the control of a variety of insect pests in restricted areas such as grain bins.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1992

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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