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Potential of Cordyceps fumosorosea as a biological control agent of coffee leaf miner Leucoptera coffeella (Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae) and selectivity to the predator Chrysoperla externa (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae)

Grant number: 20/12967-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal Investigator:Alessandra Marieli Vacari
Grantee:Fabrícia Cristina de Paula
Host Institution: Pró-Reitoria Adjunta de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação. Universidade de Franca (UNIFRAN). Franca , SP, Brazil


Although chemical control is still the predominant strategy for pest control, biological has been growing as a key strategy for sustainable exploitation, but still little explored in the agricultural space, such as intensive coffee crops. Thus, the biological control applied with the use of entomopathogenic agents, such as the fungus Cordyceps fumosorosea (Wize), which has insecticidal activity against several species of lepidopteran pests, can be a promising and efficient control tactic for these insects. The objective will be to study the control of Leucoptera coffeella (Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae) using a bioinsecticide based on C. fumosorosea and, in addition, to verify the selectivity of this bioinsecticide to the predator Chrysoperla externa (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), commonly found in coffee crops. For this, the effect of the bioinsecticide on eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of L. coffeella will be studied, as well as on eggs and larvae of first, second and third instars of C. externa. The great challenge of this research project is to try to make available to growers, a biological control methodology using bioinsecticide for the control of the coffee leaf miner in coffee crops. Coffee growers do not have an efficient control methodology for coffee leaf miner that is sustainable and can be used in organic agriculture. Due to the high added value of organic coffee and also of specialty coffees, Fapesp's support is essential, so that coffee growers can efficiently and sustainably control the coffee leaf miner, L. coffeella.

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