Navigation Links
Hanging baskets of sex and death help fruit growers

A hanging basket style device is at the heart of a plan by researchers at the University of Warwick to harness the sex drive of a major pest of fruit orchards as a weapon to spread a virus to kill that very same pest. The device allows growers to selectively target the pest with a virus that kills its larvae without killing other beneficial insects.

The researchers at Warwick HRI, the horticultural research arm of the University of Warwick, have devised a hanging basket style dispenser full of a virus known to kill the larvae of codling moth. The dispenser is designed to protect the virus from the elements and also includes a strong source of codling moth pheromone. The pheromone draws in the moth hoping for a sexual encounter and the insect leaves frustrated but covered in the virus which it then passes on to other moths when it does manage to have an actual encounter with another real moth. This results in direct contamination of eggs laid by the pest or contamination of the site where the moth lays its eggs. The larvae are killed after eating the virus on the egg or plant surface. This brings two key benefits to fruit growers:

An end to spraying - Normally Growers wishing to use this form of virus warfare have to spray almost every element of an orchard to ensure the moths come into contact with virus. This is wasteful both of time and resources. By this method the moth themselves spread the virus in a very targeted way to other moths and prevents loss of populations of other beneficial insects such as the red spider mite which would occur if growers used pesticides.

Extended virus life - The virus does not fare well in direct sunlight. Growers who currently spray the virus find it quickly becomes ineffective and it has to re-sprayed several times in order to control the pests. By placing the virus in dispensers with a cover that shields the virus supply from direct sunlight one application of virus could serve for an extended period and remove the need for constant reapplication

In this Defra funded project the researchers have already tested the effect of a single dispenser which alone infected 5% of all the moths found over a 1 hectare site. That early test helped them maximize the best virus formulation, and the most efficient dispenser design that maximised access for the moths while protecting the virus from sunlight and other elements, and the best form of pheromone lure. That test also helped them choose between a liquid and powder based mix for the virus - the liquid was found to be best. The University of Warwick researchers are now working with colleagues from East Malling Research on a larger scale 12 hectare trial of the dispenser in a large commercial apple orchard in Worcestershire. An array of 25 dispensers per hectare have been erected over 3 separated orchard plots of one hectare within an even larger orchard. The codling moth control within these three 1 hectare plots will be compared to similar sized orchard plots with dispensers without virus, or no treatment or sprayed with a commercial virus spray at the same virus dose.


Source:University of Warwick

Related biology news :

1. Combination therapy boosts effectiveness of telomere-directed cancer cell death
2. Enzyme allows B cells to resist death, leading to leukemia
3. Critical role in programmed cell death identified
4. A comprehensive response to HIV could prevent 10 million AIDS deaths in Africa by 2020
5. The death of a very special chimpanzee
6. The very unexpected life and death of a leukemic cell
7. Solutions that reduce death of marine life reeled in by International Smart Gear Competition
8. Emergence of cancer as major cause of childhood death in developing countries is not being adequately addressed
9. UT Southwestern researchers discover master switch in cell death
10. Prescription pain patch abuse blamed for increase in deaths
11. Continued reduction in the number of drug-related deaths in the UK
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... Mich. , Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon ... Genomics for U.S. distribution of its DNA library ... kit and Rubicon,s new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX ... enable the preparation of NGS libraries for liquid ... for diagnostic and prognostic applications in cancer and ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 27, 2015 In the present market scenario, ... for various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, ... growing demand for secure & simplified access control and ... as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , ... as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... PALO ALTO, Calif. and LAS ... – Nok Nok Labs , an innovator in ... FIDO Alliance , today announced the launch of its ... the first unified platform enabling organizations to use standards-based ... authentication. The Nok Nok S3 Authentication Suite is ideal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms ... there are no corporate developments that would cause the ... --> --> About Aeterna Zentaris ... . --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of ... Interest Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person ... few years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) ... remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share consolidation) ... B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed November ... 2015, which will result in the issuance of ... the issuance of such shares, there will be ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Creation Technologies ... being named to Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest growing ... a FDA-cleared, Class II medical device that speeds up orthodontic tooth movement by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: