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Insects 2018, 9(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects9030101

Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Three Microbial Biocontrol Agents on Spodoptera litura and Its Natural Predator Rhynocoris kumarii

1
Crop Protection Research Centre, St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Palayamkottai 627002, India
2
Fruinlaan 43, 5624 DA Eindhoven, The Netherlands
3
Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 2725, South Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703, USA
4
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Services, 2001 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA
5
Indian River Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 2199 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA
6
Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, 1712 Claflin Rd., 4024 Throckmorton Center, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract

Entomopathogenic microbes such as Spodoptera litura nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpltNPV), Metarhizium anisopliae, and Pseudomonas fluorescens are biological agents used for the control of multiple arthropod pests. The objective of this study was to assess their effects on the biological parameters of Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae, and its natural reduviid predator Rhynocoris kumarii (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) under laboratory conditions. Results suggested that P. fluorescens reduced the food consumption index, relative growth rate, approximate digestibility, the efficiency of conversion of ingested food, and the efficiency of conversion of digested food of S. litura third instar larvae compared to prey infected with M. anisopliae and SpltNPV. Both SpltNPV and M. anisopliae caused similar mortality of S. litura life stages after 96 h of observation. To observe the effect of an infected prey diet on predator behavior, infected S. litura larvae were offered to the third, fourth, and fifth instar nymphs of R. kumarii, and their prey handling time, predation rate (number/day/predator), developmental period, and the survival rate was recorded. When the life stages of R. kumarii were offered entomopathogen-infected S. litura larvae, their predation rate was comparable to or higher than the untreated control. The juvenile predator, after feeding on P. fluorescens-infected S. litura larvae, had a significantly longer developmental period (2–4 days) compared to those fed on larvae infected with other microbial control agents. However, feeding on P. fluorescens alone did not affect the predator nymphal survival rate or the adult sex ratio. Although three entomopathogens had some degree of effect on the biological parameters of R. kumarii, the outcome of this study suggests that integration of reduviids with the tested entomopathogens are a compatible and potentially effective strategy for the management of S. litura populations. However promising, this combined strategy needs to be tested under field conditions to confirm the laboratory findings. View Full-Text
Keywords: Metarizhium anisopliae; Pseudomonas fluorescens; integrated pest management; field crop pest; nucleopolyhedrovirus; entomopathogens Metarizhium anisopliae; Pseudomonas fluorescens; integrated pest management; field crop pest; nucleopolyhedrovirus; entomopathogens
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Sahayaraj, K.; Subash, N.; Allingham, R.W.; Kumar, V.; Avery, P.B.; Mehra, L.K.; McKenzie, C.L.; Osborne, L.S. Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Three Microbial Biocontrol Agents on Spodoptera litura and Its Natural Predator Rhynocoris kumarii. Insects 2018, 9, 101.

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