Molecular identification of white grub predators (FWF-Project)

A. Juen & M. Traugott (PI)

Larvae of scarabaeid beetles (e.g. cockchafer, summer chafer and garden chafer) can cause sever damage in a wide variety of field crops and grassland due to their extensive feeding on roots. Invertebrate predators may be successful in regulating white grub populations, but up to now the natural enemy guild of these scarab larvae is virtually unknown.

This project aims at the identification of the key invertebrate predators of white grubs such as certain species of predatory beetles and their larvae. We will amplify species-specific DNA-fragments from the gut of the predators  and intend to develop a new methodological approach enabling us to screen a single predator for different prey species in one reaction.

In a further step we will estimate the potential of these predators to regulate white grub populations. The outcomes of this project will lead to new approaches for a more efficient and sustainable regulation of these soil pests.


Funding: FWF Logo





Poecilus Phyllopertha 





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