Universität Innsbruck

New approaches to control wireworms in potatoes
















Wireworms are the so-called larvae of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae) which live for 3-5 years in the soil before they pupate. They feed on the below-ground parts on a wide range of crops and especially potatoes are vulnerable to their attack. In this EIP-AGRI project, where our research team jointly works within other teams assembled within the ARGE Drahtwurm (https://www.global2000.at/arge-drahtwurm), new pesticide-free management tactics are being developed for controlling wireworm feeding pressure on potato. At the heart of this project is the application of trap crops in combination with entomopathogenic fungi to develop sustainable and environmental friendly attract-and-kill approaches. As the identity of the wireworms is key for selecting effective strains of fungi, we identify the field-collected larvae from our field experiments in Tyrol but also from experiments in eastern Austria using DNA-based tools.

Christiane Zeisler, Michael Traugott (PI), BMLFUW, https://www.global2000.at/arge-drahtwurm


VIDEO: GLOBAL 2000 wireworm project - how wireworms affect potato harvests (DE)


ATE members involved in the Wireworm potato project:

  • Michael Traugott (PI)
  • Christiane Zeisler (PhD student)
  • Diane Neu, Claire Rotondo, Marijan Writz (MSc. students)


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