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New Strategies to Improve the Efficiency of the Biological Control Agent, Orius insidiosus (Say), in Greenhouse Ornamental Crops

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Title: New Strategies to Improve the Efficiency of the Biological Control Agent, Orius insidiosus (Say), in Greenhouse Ornamental Crops
Author: Waite, Meghann Olivia
Department: School of Environmental Sciences
Program: Environmental Sciences
Advisor: Scott-Dupree, CynthiaBrownbridge, Michael
Abstract: This thesis investigated new strategies to increase both the control and cost efficiency of the biological control agent, Orius insidiosus Say (Orius), in greenhouse ornamental crops through the identification of an optimal banker plant species, a suitable source of supplemental food, and the identification of an attractive semiochemical lure. Seven plant species/cultivars were evaluated in laboratory and greenhouse bioassays to determine if the plants could provide: an acceptable food source; a location for oviposition; high nymphal survival and rapid development to the adult stage; and a host plant for sustainable population growth. Based on the results obtained overall, the Purple Flash ornamental pepper is the best candidate for use as a banker plant. Greenhouse and laboratory bioassays investigated the suitability of various supplemental food sources. In greenhouse trials, cattail pollen did not sustain a population of Orius on chrysanthemum plants but did significantly increase the population of the target pest, the western flower thrips. The addition of Ephestia kuehniella eggs or honeybee-collected pollen can increase the production of Orius on Purple Flash banker plants. Orius females fed on E. kuehniella eggs or honeybee-collected pollen laid the greatest numbers of eggs and lived significantly longer compared to those fed apple pollen, cattail pollen, corn pollen in laboratory bioassays. In laboratory olfactory assays and greenhouse release experiments, Orius showed the greatest response to olfactory cues associated with a neryl (S)-2-methylbutanoate lure over odours emitted from a methyl salicylate lure, a methyl isonicotinate lures or clean air.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/5080
Date: 2012-12


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