Efficacy of the Biofumigant Fungus Muscodor albus (Ascomycota: Xylariales) for Control of Codling Moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in Simulated Storage Conditions

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Codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), a serious pest of pome fruit, is a threat to exportation of apples (Malus spp.) because of the possibility of shipping infested fruit. The need for alternatives to fumigants such as methyl bromide for quarantine security of exported fruit has encouraged the development of effective fumigants with reduced side effects. The endophytic fungus Muscodor albus Worapong, Strobel and Hess (Ascomycota: Xylariales) produces volatile compounds that are biocidal for several pest organisms, including plant pathogens and insect pests. The objectives of our research were to determine the effects of M. albus volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on codling moth adults, neonate larvae, larvae in infested apples, and diapausing cocooned larvae in simulated storage conditions. Fumigation of adult codling moth with VOCs produced by M. albus for 3 d and incubating in fresh air for 24 h at 25°C resulted in 81% corrected mortality. Four- and 5-d exposures resulted in higher mortality (84 and 100%, respectively), but control mortality was also high due to the short life span of the moths. Exposure of neonate larvae to VOCs for 3 d on apples and incubating for 7 d resulted in 86% corrected mortality. Treated larvae were predominantly first instars, whereas 85% of control larvae developed to second and third instars. Exposure of apples that had been infested for 5 d, fumigated with M. albus VOCs for 3 d, and incubated as described above resulted in 71% corrected larval mortality. Exposure of diapausing cocooned codling moth larvae to VOCs for 7 or 14 d resulted in 31 and 100% mortality, respectively, with negligible control mortality. Our data on treatment of several stages of codling moth with M. albus VOCs indicate that the fungus could provide an alternative to broad spectrum chemical fumigants for codling moth control in storage and contribute to the systems approach to achieve quarantine security of exported apples.

Keywords: apple exportation; microbial control; postharvest; quarantine treatments

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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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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