Beneficial microorganisms are becoming increasingly important in the biological control of citrus pests, as a complement to the release of auxiliary insects. Proof of this is the research carried out by Koppert Spain, which aims to confirm the efficacy of an entomopathogenic fungus that could help control Trioza erytreae
, one of the insects that transmits huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening. "Koppert's objective is to develop a biological solution that may be available to producers if the insect that transmits the HLB arrived in Spain," said Javier Calvo, researching entomologist at Koppert, in the framework of a Citrus Technical Conference held in El Rompido (province of Huelva) and Palma del Río (province of Cordoba).
This research is part of a European project in which Koppert Spain is taking part with a consortium of companies and research centers in different countries. The R&D department of Koppert Spain is working with several entomopathogenic fungi that, in addition to the control of Trioza erytreae, could be effective against other common citrus pests, such as aphids, red spiders, the cochineal and thrips.
The existence of a new parasitoid of T. erytreae
, identified as Tamarixia dryi
, has been reported. Detected for the first time in South Africa, this new parasitoid has achieved good results in the first experimental releases made last year in the Canary Islands by the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research (IVIA). "They have already been released in Galicia and Portugal and we are waiting to confirm the results obtained there," said Dr. Alejandro Tena, a researcher at IVIA, who is involved in the development of this new parasitoid through the TropicSafe project.
In his presentation at the Koppert conference, Dr. Tena recommended the use of plant coverings in citrus fruits as a complement to biological control.
The technical superiority of the Ulti-Mite®
envelope format has aroused great interest during Koppert's citrus conference, which attracted more than 200 attendees. Koppert uses it to market the Neoseiulus californicus
red spider predator for citrus fruits.
This is an exclusive product from Koppert that is allowing the use of biological control in citrus and other open ground crops thanks to its unique 100% compostable and unalterable material.
In addition to Spical Ulti-Mite®
, Koppert has other products for the biological control of citrus, including Citripar®
), effective against the cochineal, and Aphytis®
), which is used against California red scale and white scale.