Effect of cold storage on performance of Eretmocerus mundus, larval parasitoid of Bemisia tabaci in a conventional tomato growing greenhouse


CROP PROTECTION, cilt.137, 2020 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is an important pest that causes economic losses in agricultural production systems, including greenhouses. Chemical control is the main control method against B. tabaci; biological control practices, however, have also been applied against this pest, especially in greenhouse production systems. Due to its parasitism potential and adaptation to environmental conditions of the Mediterranean region, Eretmocerus mundus Mercet (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) is considered one of the most successful biological control agents of B. tabaci. In mass production, having adequate numbers of natural enemies is critical for the augmentative biological control programs. Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of evaluating the efficacy of stored indigenous Er. mundus on B. tabaci under greenhouse conditions. In storage experiments, red-eyed Er. mundus pupae were stored separately for 4, 8 and 12 days at 5 and 10 degrees C with 45 +/- 5% RH conditions. The most suitable storage duration and temperature were determined as 8 days and 10 degrees C for the greenhouse release experiments. In the greenhouse experiments, the treatments consisted of B. tabaci release (control), stored and unstored Er. mundus releases in the Spring of 2015 and 2016 growth seasons. For the evaluation of population development of whitefly and the parasitoid, leaf samples were taken at five-day intervals. In both years, similar parasitism fluctuations were detected in stored and unstored parasitoid-released treatments, wherein initially-lower parasitism rates showed a dramatic increase at later sampling dates. In general, statistical parasitism rates of stored and unstored Er. mundus populations were found in the same group for 2015 and 2016. The results showed that storage of the parasitoid did not have a negative effect on its parasitism ability, and eight-day-stored native strain of Er. mundus could be used successfully in the biological control of B. tabaci in greenhouse-grown tomato plants.