Puccinia spp. on wheat

Aphids have the potential to cause major economic problems in most cereal crops through removal of sap, transmission of viruses and deposition of honeydew. There are no accurate figures on insecticide usage aimed specifically at aphid control, except in UK, where according to the pesticide usage statistics18, approximately £2.5 million hectares of cereals are treated with pyrethroid insecticides (seed treatment plus sprays). It has been estimated in UK that average infestations can give a potential (without control) economic loss of £70 million, with severe, widespread infestations of wheat alone potentially resulting in losses of £120 million. Increasing resistance to many insecticides is causing control problems. Populations resistant to neonicotinoids occur in parts of southern Europe and with resistance to pyrethroids and the current ban on the use of neonicotinoids, options for control of aphids are very limited. EMPHASIS will investigate within WP3 biological control strategies of aphids on wheat based on use of endogenous entomopathogenic fungi.

Management approach

For biological control agents: Screen endogenous entomopathogenious fungi (Beauveria bassiana, Paecilomyces fumosoroseus).

Solution proposed by EMPHASIS

For biological control agents: Report on the most effective BCAs for the management of target pests (PU) Increasing the efficacy of BCA’s (biorational insecticides to synergise the impact of microbial biopesticides)

Contact person/organisation

Maureen Wakefield / Neil Audsley (FERA)