Microbial pesticides such as those based on Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner exhibit short residual activity when applied as foliar sprays. Formulation ingredients may be able to counter the effects of environmental factors by offering protection from rainfall or sunlight or both. We report on the use of pregelatinized cornstarch and com flour as formulation ingredients for sprayable B. thuringiensis preparations. In 2 field tests, residual activity was measured by feeding treated leaves to diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), larvae. In the 1st test (1989), pregelatinized starch mixed with equal amounts of sucrose and tank mixed at a total of 4% solids (4 g/100 ml) provided protection of B. thuringiensis on cabbage leaves for up to 5 d under sunny field conditions. A commercial B. thuringiensis product lost activity after 3 d. In the 2nd study (1991), pregelatinized flour mixed with sucrose also provided protection in the presence of rainfall. In this study, 1, 2, and 4% solids were used to test the effects of amounts of formulation materials required to achieve protection of B. thuringiensis. In the presence of rain, 4% solids was required for optimum protection. Treatments that included 1 or 2% solids did not provide rainfastness as measured against a commercial product. Inclusion of sun screening agents did not affect longevity of activity. In both studies, overall efficacy of all B. thuringiensis preparations against 3 Lepidoptera species was excellent. Laboratory tests demonstrated the protective effects of the flour formulations against artificial sunlight. Formulations with only 0.5% solids protected B. thuringiensis equally well as formulations with 4% solids. Artificial rainfall tests, however, did not support results obtained in the field. All formulations were washed equally from cotton plants in response to 6 cm rain applied over a 1-h period. These experiments, considered together, reinforce the proposition that formulation ingredients such as com flour can increase residual activity of B. thuringiensis.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 1996
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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.