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Special Issue "Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Pest and Vector Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023 | Viewed by 7644

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Yibo Zhang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Plant Protection (IPP), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Beijing, China
Interests: invasive pest; biological control; parasitoid; predator; behavioral ecology; insect ecology
Prof. Dr. Hongbo Jiang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Key Laboratory of Entomology and Pest Control Engineering, College of Plant Protection, Southwest University, Chongqing 400716, China
Interests: insect olfaction; insect olfaction mediated behavior; insect neurophysiology; neuroendocrinology of insect behavior
Dr. Ying Yan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Insect Biotechnology, Department of Insect Biotechnology in Plant Protection, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany
Interests: pest management; genetic control; biological invasion; functional genomics; insect transgenesis; genetic engineering; gene editing; sterile insect technique

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The decline of insect biodiversity is a growing concern. One potential approach to resolving this problem is to reduce the harmful effects of pest management on non-targeted insect species. Invasive insects also significantly contribute to the loss of biodiversity in the introduced areas. Therefore, the development of environmentally friendly control approaches for invasive insects promises to preserve biodiversity during and after the control practices.

In recent years, considerable efforts have been devoted to improving traditional control methods by reducing the “side effects” or developing novel strategies which are species-specific. This has led to investigations into the isolation, formulation or implementation of biological agents such as parasitoids or entomopathogenic bacteria, fungi, virus and nematodes. In addition, genetic control strategies such as the sterile insect technique (SIT), which achieve population suppression based on mating within the target species, have been proposed or evaluated. Moreover, methods such as RNAi-based pesticide are not only species-specific, but also gene-specific. This Special Issue aims to showcase progress and discussion in this field, and importantly, to demonstrate ways in which we can preserve biodiversity by diversifying insect pest controls.

Dr. Yibo Zhang
Prof. Dr. Hongbo Jiang
Dr. Ying Yan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • targeted pest control
  • species-specific
  • biological control
  • genetic control
  • sterile insect technique
  • RNAi pesticide
  • trap and lure

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Identification and Biocontrol Potential of Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Their Endosymbiotic Bacteria in Apple Orchards against the Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)
Insects 2022, 13(12), 1085; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13121085 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 337
Abstract
The codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is one of the major pests in pome fruit production worldwide. Heavy treatment of the larvae of C. pomonella with insecticides triggered the development of resistance to many groups of insecticides. In addition, the increasing [...] Read more.
The codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), is one of the major pests in pome fruit production worldwide. Heavy treatment of the larvae of C. pomonella with insecticides triggered the development of resistance to many groups of insecticides. In addition, the increasing concern about the adverse effects of synthetic insecticides on human health and the environment has led to the development of sustainable and eco-friendly control practices for C. pomonella. The entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) (Steinernema and Heterorhabditis spp.) and their endosymbionts (Xenorhabdus and Photorhabdus spp.) represent a newly emerging approach to controlling a wide range of insect pests. In the present study, field surveys were conducted in apple orchards to isolate and identify EPNs and their endosymbionts and evaluate their insecticidal efficacy on the larvae of C. pomonella. EPNs were isolated from 12 of 100 soil samples (12%). Seven samples were identified as Steinernema feltiae (Filipjev, 1934) (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae), whereas five samples were assigned to Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Poinar, 1976) (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae). The pathogenicity of the EPN species/isolates was screened on the last instar larvae of G. mellonella. The two most pathogenic isolates from each EPN species were tested against fifth instar larvae of C. pomonella under controlled conditions. The maximum mortality (100%) was achieved by all EPN species/isolates at a concentration of 100 IJs/larva 96 h after treatment. The endosymbionts of selected H. bacteriophora and S. feltiae species were identified as Photorhabdus luminescens subsp. kayaii and Xenorhabdus bovienii, respectively. The mortality rates ranged between 25 and 62% when the fifth larval instar larvae of C. pomonella were exposed to the treatment of cell-free supernatants of symbiotic bacteria. In essence, the present survey indicated that EPNs and their symbiotic bacteria have good potential for biological control of C. pomonella. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Profiling of Candidate Sex Pheromone Biosynthesis Genes in the Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda)
Insects 2022, 13(12), 1078; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13121078 - 23 Nov 2022
Viewed by 281
Abstract
Spodoptera frugiperda is an agricultural pest causing substantial damage and losses to commercial crops. Sex pheromones are critical for successful mating in Lepidoptera and have been used for monitoring and control of many pest species. The sex pheromone of S. frugiperda is known, [...] Read more.
Spodoptera frugiperda is an agricultural pest causing substantial damage and losses to commercial crops. Sex pheromones are critical for successful mating in Lepidoptera and have been used for monitoring and control of many pest species. The sex pheromone of S. frugiperda is known, but the genes involved in its biosynthesis have not been identified. We systematically studied 99 candidate sex pheromone genes in the genome of S. frugiperda including 1 acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), 11 fatty acid synthases (FASs), 17 desaturases (DESs), 4 fatty acid transport proteins (FATPs), 29 fatty acyl-CoA reductases (FARs), 17 acetyl-CoA acetyltransferases (ACTs), 5 acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (ACDs), 3 enoyl-CoA hydratases (ECHs), 3 hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenases (HCDs), 6 ethyl-CoA thiolases (KCTs), and 3 acyl-CoA-binding proteins (ACBPs). Based on the comparative transcriptome results, we found 22 candidate sex pheromone biosynthesis genes predominately expressed in pheromone glands (PGs) than abdomens without PGs including SfruFAS4, SfruFATP3, SfruACD5, SfruKCT3, SfruDES2, SfruDES5, SfruDES11, SfruDES13, SfruFAR1, SfruFAR2, SfruFAR3, SfruFAR6, SfruFAR7, SfruFAR8, SfruFAR9, SfruFAR10, SfruFAR11, SfruFAR14, SfruFAR16, SfruFAR29, SfruACT6, and SfruACT10. A combination of phylogenetic and tissue-specific transcriptomic analyses indicated that SfruDES5, SfruDES11, SfruFAR2, SfruFAR3, and SfruFAR9 may be key genes involved in the sex pheromone synthesis of S. frugiperda. Our results could provide a theoretical basis for understanding the molecular mechanisms of sex pheromone biosynthesis in S. frugiperda, and also provide new targets for developing novel pest control methods based on disrupting sexual communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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Communication
Lithium Chloride Shows Effectiveness against the Poultry Red Mite (Dermanyssus gallinae)
Insects 2022, 13(11), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13111005 - 01 Nov 2022
Viewed by 471
Abstract
The poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) is the main pest of poultry, causing severe problems by being a vector of several animal and human pathogens. The number of miticides is few, and their efficacy in practice implies problems of residues and [...] Read more.
The poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) is the main pest of poultry, causing severe problems by being a vector of several animal and human pathogens. The number of miticides is few, and their efficacy in practice implies problems of residues and resistance; therefore, the demand for a new and safe agent is constant. The present publication investigated the effectiveness of lithium chloride under in vitro conditions on poultry red mites. This chemical currently appears to be one of the most promising alternatives to study amongst potential applicants to treat varroosis, a fatal disease of honey bees. In Experiment I, the previously used experimental doses (5.52 M, 2.76 M, 1.38 M) on Varroa mites confirmed their in vitro activity on the poultry red mite. Three event times (uncontrolled movement, immobilisation and death) were recorded to base the response to treatment for each concentration. In Experiment II, the LD 50 value was calculated, i.e., the value at which 50% of the mites were killed by the treatment. This Experiment showed that the LD50 of lithium chloride = 0.265 M in the poultry red mite. It is to note that the study remained restricted to in vitro confirmation of lithium chloride’s effectiveness on the parasite. Thus, further extensive studies are needed to decide whether it has any relevance in practice against D. gallinae, and also to assess potential residue problems that could affect poultry products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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Article
Purification and Functional Characterization of a Soluble Trehalase in Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Insects 2022, 13(10), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13100867 - 24 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 600
Abstract
Trehalase is the only enzyme known for the irreversible splitting of trehalose and plays a major role in insect growth and development. In this report, we describe a basic study of the trehalase gene fragment encoding a soluble trehalase from Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus ( [...] Read more.
Trehalase is the only enzyme known for the irreversible splitting of trehalose and plays a major role in insect growth and development. In this report, we describe a basic study of the trehalase gene fragment encoding a soluble trehalase from Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus (LoTRE1). Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis suggested that LoTRE1 was similar to some known insect trehalases and belongs to the Coleoptera trehalase group. Additionally, LoTRE1 was expressed mainly in the fat body. Purified protein was obtained using heterologous expression of LoTRE1 in Escherichia coli, and the recombinant protein exhibited the ability to decompose trehalose. Enzyme–substrate docking indicated the potential involvement of other residues in the catalytic activity, in addition to Asp 333. Moreover, feeding of adults on LoTRE1 dsRNA silenced the transcription of LoTRE1 and thereby reduced the activity of trehalase and increased the trehalose content; it also led to a 12% death rate. This study reveals essential molecular features of trehalase and offers insights into the structural aspects of this enzyme, which might be related to its function. Taken together, the findings demonstrate that LoTRE1 is indispensable for adults of this pest and provide a new target for the control of L. oryzophilus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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Article
Sublethal Dose of β-Cypermethrin Impairs the Olfaction of Bactrocera dorsalis by Suppressing the Expression of Chemosensory Genes
Insects 2022, 13(8), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13080721 - 11 Aug 2022
Viewed by 695
Abstract
The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, is one of the most destructive fruit insect pests. β-cypermethrin has been widely used in the orchard to control this major insect. Based on the resistance monitoring in 2011, B. dorsalis developed significant resistance against [...] Read more.
The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, is one of the most destructive fruit insect pests. β-cypermethrin has been widely used in the orchard to control this major insect. Based on the resistance monitoring in 2011, B. dorsalis developed significant resistance against β-cypermethrin in fields. This indicated that the B. dorsalis has been exposed to sublethal concentrations of β-cypermethrin in the field for a long time. Thus, it is urgent to understand the sublethal effects of β-cypermethrin on this fly to guide the rational use of an insecticide. According to the olfactory preference assays and electroantennogram (EAG) recording, the B. dorsalis after β-cypermethrin exposure (LD30 = 10 ng/fly) severely decreased the ability to perceive the tested odorants. Moreover, we then performed quantitative real-time PCR and found the chemosensory genes including odorant receptor co-receptor (BdorORco) and ionotropic receptor co-receptors (BdorIRcos) were obviously suppressed. Our results demonstrated that the sublethal dose of β-cypermethrin impairs the olfaction of the pest insects by suppressing the expression of chemosensory genes (BdorORco and BdorIRcos), which expanded our knowledge of the sublethal effects of the pesticide on insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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Article
Involvement of Laccase2 in Cuticle Sclerotization of the Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Middle East–Asia Minor 1
Insects 2022, 13(5), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050471 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
Cuticle sclerotization is critical for insect survival. Laccase2 (Lac2) is a phenol oxidase that plays a key role in cuticle formation and pigmentation in a variety of insects. However, the function of Lac2 in whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, remains unclear. In [...] Read more.
Cuticle sclerotization is critical for insect survival. Laccase2 (Lac2) is a phenol oxidase that plays a key role in cuticle formation and pigmentation in a variety of insects. However, the function of Lac2 in whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, remains unclear. In this study, we identified a BtLac2 gene in B. tabaci MEAM1 and found that BtLac2 was expressed in all stages. It was highly expressed in the egg stage, followed by nymph and adult. Moreover, the expression of BtLac2 was higher in the cuticle than in other tissues. Knockdown of BtLac2 in nymphs produced thinner and fragile cuticles, which significantly increased the mortality rate, extended the development duration of nymphs, and decreased the emergence rate of adults. This result demonstrates that BtLac2 plays an important role in the cuticle hardening of B. tabaci and suggests a potential management strategy using RNAi to knock down BtLac2 expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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Article
Effect of Pupal Cold Storage on Reproductive Performance of Microplitis manilae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a Larval Parasitoid of Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)
Insects 2022, 13(5), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050449 - 09 May 2022
Viewed by 1097
Abstract
As a major invasive pest in China, Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) has caused great damage to crops. Hymenopteran parasitoids, especially the braconid wasps, play crucial roles in depressing pest populations. However, there was little information about the ideal storage of parasitoids to [...] Read more.
As a major invasive pest in China, Spodoptera frugiperda (Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) has caused great damage to crops. Hymenopteran parasitoids, especially the braconid wasps, play crucial roles in depressing pest populations. However, there was little information about the ideal storage of parasitoids to achieve their mass-rearing. Here, we identified a dominant parasitoid of S. frugiperda, Microplitis manilae (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), in the Hainan province of China with a field parasitism rate of 5.66–19.10%. The investigation of biological parameters revealed that the parasitism rate of M. manilae significantly decreased with an increase in both wasp adult longevity and host age, and the wasp of 1–3 d post eclosion performed best on the first instar of host larvae, showing the highest parasitism rate. We also discovered that the decreased temperature from 30 to 20 °C greatly extended the longevity of wasp adults, and a similar result was observed after feeding on 10% sucrose water compared with sterile water. Then, the effects of different pupal cold storage temperatures (4 and 10 °C), storage period (prepupa, middle-aged pupa, late-aged pupa) and storage time (5, 10 or 20 d) on the emergence rate, parasitism rate, female proportion and longevity of M. manilae were investigated. The results demonstrated that the middle-aged wasp pupae stored at 10 °C for 5–10 d possessed a stronger parasitic ability and longer longevity. These findings may promote the flexibility and efficacy of large-scale production of M. manilae, thus contributing to its biological field control against S. frugiperda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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Article
Attraction of Egg Parasitoids Trissolcus mitsukurii and Trissolcus japonicus to the chemical cues of Halyomorpha halys and Nezara viridula
Insects 2022, 13(5), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050439 - 06 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1106
Abstract
Trissolcus mitsukurii and Trissolcus japonicus are two Asian egg parasitoids associated with different pentatomids such as Halyomorpha halys. Adventive populations of T. mitsukurii were found in Northern Italy, suggesting its employment as a biological control agent (BCA) against H. halys. Nevertheless, [...] Read more.
Trissolcus mitsukurii and Trissolcus japonicus are two Asian egg parasitoids associated with different pentatomids such as Halyomorpha halys. Adventive populations of T. mitsukurii were found in Northern Italy, suggesting its employment as a biological control agent (BCA) against H. halys. Nevertheless, to reduce the latter’s population, T. japonicus was released in Italy. Releasing an exotic parasitoid requires investigating the interaction between the BCA and the environment to avoid negative impacts on the entomofauna of the new habitat. Trissolcus mitsukurii is mainly associated with Nezara viridula in its native area. Therefore, we investigated and compared the ability of female T. mitsukurii and T. japonicus to distinguish between naturally released cues of H. halys and N. viridula. A single parasitoid was exposed to contact kairomones of both pests to evaluate its modifications in orthokinetic and locomotory behaviour. The behaviour of female T. mitsukurii was also tested on synthetic compounds simulating the cues of the two pentatomids. When naturally released cues were used, T. japonicus preferred the traces of H. halys, while T. mitsukurii preferred N. viridula’s cues. Moreover, the attraction of T. mitsukurii to N. viridula’s cues was confirmed with synthetic cues. Additional studies are needed to judge if this parasitoid can be used as a BCA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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Article
Risk Assessment and Area-Wide Crop Rotation to Keep Western Corn Rootworm below Damage Thresholds and Avoid Insecticide Use in European Maize Production
Insects 2022, 13(5), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050415 - 27 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
The Western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, has been a serious quarantine pest to maize in Europe since the mid-1990s. The integrated pest management of WCR requires an accurate knowledge of the factors that contribute most to risks of crop damage, [...] Read more.
The Western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, has been a serious quarantine pest to maize in Europe since the mid-1990s. The integrated pest management of WCR requires an accurate knowledge of the factors that contribute most to risks of crop damage, as well as knowledge of effective area-wide strategies based on agronomic measures, such as crop rotation. In Italy and Croatia, agronomic and cultural factors in fields damaged by WCR were evaluated through a long-term survey. Based on the survey results, high-WCR densities contribute most to risks of damage to maize. Extensive field research in north-eastern Italy compared large areas of continuous maize production with areas under different crop rotation systems (i.e., a structural one with one-time maize planting in a three-year rotation and a flexible one with continuous maize planting interrupted when beetle populations exceed the threshold). The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of different rotation regimes as possible best practices for WCR management. Captures of beetles in yellow sticky traps, root damage, larval densities, and damage to maize plants (e.g., lodging) were assessed at the center of each area. The results demonstrated the both structural and flexible crop rotation systems were effective strategies for maintaining WCR below damage threshold densities without the need for insecticides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally-Friendly Pest Control Approaches for Invasive Insects)
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