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Screening of the Insecticidal Activity of Bacillus thuringiensis Strains Against Lygus hesperus (Hemiptera: Miridae) Nymphal Population

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Lygus hesperus Knight (Hemiptera: Miridae) is an economically important insect pest controlled primarily by chemical pesticides. Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner is a gram-positive bacterium that has been developed for the control of some insect pests in the orders Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and Diptera. In this study, whole culture extracts of 94 B. thuringiensis strains from 83 serovars were added to an artificial diet and assayed against L. hesperus first and second instars. A total of five B. thuringiensis strains, B. thuringiensis variety thuringiensis, thuringiensis exotoxin +, morrisoni, tolworthi, and darmstadiensis generated >98% mortality after 7 d of incubation. The screening was repeated with 117 alkali-solubilized trypsin-digested B. thuringiensis cultures and the same five B. thuringiensis strains showed nearly identical results. All five strains produce β-exotoxin, which exhibits a wide host spectrum activity. No β-exotoxin-minus B. thuringiensis strains showed significant toxicity against L. hesperus nymphs. The present work is one of the first thorough screenings of the wide diversity of the B. thuringiensis varieties for the control of L. hesperus nymphal populations.

Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis; Hemiptera; Lygus hesperus; β-exotoxin; δ-endotoxin

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • 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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