A DNA-based approach to detect key parasitoids of lepidopteran pests

P. Zangerl, A. Juen, L. Pfiffner (FiBL) & M. Traugott (PI)
Joint project with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in Frick, Switzerland)

 

Besides invertebrate predators, parasitoids are of special importance for biological control. The development of new management strategies to enhance the influence of parasitic natural enemies on agricultural pests depends on reliable, fast and cost efficient methods to determine the parasitism rate. Molecular approaches offer the possibility to analyse high numbers of individuals within a comparably short time once the markers have been evaluated. They also provide a high degree of sensitivity and specificity.

In this study we developed a PCR-based approach to identify the key-parasitoids of cabbage pests, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera, Plutellidae) and Pieris sp. (Lepidoptera, Pieridae). These markers will then be used to evaluate the influence of sown wildflower strips on the parasitism rates in cabbage crops.

 

Funding: FiBL, Regional Government of Tyrol, University of Innsbruck

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