Dec. 26, 2017
Koppert Biological Systems has announced the launch of bioinsecticide Challenger, which is the first biological alternative for the control of psyllid Diaphorina citri.
The insect is the vector of the bacteria that causes greening or huanglongbing (HLB), a disease caused by the bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter spp, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and Candidatus Liberibacter americanus that affects all citrus (orange, lemon, and tangerine).
The micro-biological insecticide with a formulation of concentrate suspension is recommended by Koppert for the Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The manufacturer has affirmed that the product guarantees maximum performance from the moment of dilution in water, tank preparation, until contact with the insect integument. It ensures that the droplets adhere to the same, starting the infection process.
Th fungus performance is made through direct contact with its target. The conidia of the entomopathogenic fungus, Isaria fumosorosea, after spraying are deposited on the target, adhering to the integument of the insect. This begins their germination process with the production of a complex of enzymes that act in the degradation of the integument of the insect, allowing the fungus to penetrate into its host.
Once inside the insect, the fungus develops further and also continues the liberation of enzymes and metabolites that take the insect to its death. Thereafter, the fungus starts the process of extrusion, colonising this time the external parts of the insect, where commonly the insect gets covered with thin and powdery conidia of rosy tone, thus confirming its death by the fungus, Isaria fumosorosea. Nymphes, as well as adults, are susceptible to the action of the fungus.
“It is a great conquest. It is the first biological product based on Isaria fumosorosea in Brazil and there are few in the world. It is a fundamental tool with great potential that has contributed a lot to the citrus sector,” analysed Dr. Italo Delalibera Jr of the "Luís de Queiroz" School of Agriculture (ESALQ-USP), who conducted seven years of research that resulted in the selection of the entomopathogenic fungus, Isaria fumosorosea.
For Industrial Director of Koppert Brazil, Danilo Pedrazzoli, another important factor to be considered is the compatibility of the product Challenger with chemical pesticides contained in the list of the Citrus Production Integrated of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, demonstrating that the biological technology of the product can be combined in the field with other pest control methodologies, which again highlights the importance of Integrated Plague Management for the resistance management of psyllid.
“We are very satisfied with the power of offering the citrus grower a sustainable tool that reduces the risk of selection of the D. Citri psyllid, which becomes resistance to chemical insecticides. We are continuing the research and believe that it can take control of secondary plagues of the citrus growers,” Pedrazzoli said.
The product also can be associated with Tamarixia radiata, a natural enemy of the psyllid Diaphorina citri that Fundecitrus produces in its biofactory, inaugurated in March 2015.