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Large scale production of Euschistus heros (Fabricius) eggs, main biological input for the production of pests eggs parasitoids

Grant number: 18/22378-9
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: November 01, 2019 - July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Crop Science
Principal Investigator:Cristiane Maria Tibola
Grantee:Cristiane Maria Tibola
Company:CL Empreendimentos Biológicos Ltda. - EPP
CNAE: Criação de animais não especificados anteriormente
City: Piracicaba
Associated scholarship(s):19/25089-0 - Large scale production of Euschistus heros (Fabricius) eggs, main biological input for the production of pests eggs parasitoids, BP.TT

Abstract

Pentatomid bugs are currently the main group of pests that cause damage to the soybean crop, Glycine max (Merril) in Brazil, with a cost control estimated at more than R$ 7 billion a year. The brown bug Euschistus heros (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is the species that occurs in greater quantity and that has caused greater damages in soybean. Because it is a polyphagous insect, it can feed on other cultures besides soy, bridging different hosts and developing and reproducing practically all the year. The control of this pest is almost exclusively with chemical insecticides, necessitating, therefore, new effective control strategies that can be used in large scale, once the soybean area in Brazil is more than 30 million ha. An alternative with great potential of use in the control of the E. heros is the parasitoids Trissolcus basalis (Wollaston) and Telenomus podisi Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) that present excellent results in the parasitism of stink bug eggs in the field. In order to these biological control agents to be reliably released into crops and to control the stink bugs, they must be massively raised in the laboratory on eggs of a suitable host, thus making it necessary to maintain a stink bug colony which will supply the eggs as the substrate for the creation of its natural enemy, in this case T. basalis and/or T. podisi. Nowadays, and in the great majority of cases, the rearing of pest insects (biological inputs) used in biological control agents production systems are manual, with little or no process automation, being a very labor-intensive system that requires a lot of hand onerous and feasible only for small-scale production. Therefore, the present project aims to improve the current techniques for the rearing of E. heros, as well as the automation of some productive stages aiming large scale and low cost production, as a way to make the biological control programs of stink bugs pests viable through the use of eggs parasitoids. The rearing of E. heros has several bottlenecks and difficulties to overcome in order to increase the amount of eggs produced in the laboratory, especially in relation to the diet used and the manipulation of the insects throughout their life cycle. As a research proposal, will be developed a prototype that will enable the production of artificial diet in an automated and large quantities (batch), development of semiautomatic rearing cages and devices that facilitate the collection and processing of eggs. The result of this first phase of research should produce 1.0 kg of E. heros eggs/week, as well as replicable scale prototypes to increase egg production in phases 2 and 3 of the project, aiming at a minimum commercial production of 50 kg eggs/week at the end of all project. In this context, the Pragas.com® Company submits the present request for resources in the PIPE Program - Phase I of FAPESP. (AU)