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Innovative approaches to redesigning agricultural systems are urgently needed. A crucial way of ‘ecologically intensifying’ agricultural production relies on designing cropping systems that mimic the diversity of natural ecosystems through lengthening and diversifying crop rotations and reducing tillage intensity (e.g., conservation agriculture). Minimal soil disturbance (reduced or no tillage) and permanent soil cover (mulch) combined with rotations facilitate to conserve, improve, and make more efficient use of natural resources. These practices not only reduce soil degradation but also contribute to sustained agricultural production including biological control of pests and diseases. Plant pathologists have for a long time studied the concept of ‘suppressive soils' and tried to understand the mechanisms involved in plant disease suppression. We propose to expand the concept to ‘insect pest suppressive soils’, and provide concepts and data on the occurrence and importance of soil-borne insect pathogens in pest population suppression. Agricultural fields usually harbor only low numbers of beneficial insect antagonists such as entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) and fungi (EPF), so that their role in pest population dynamics currently is negligible. Yet simple improvements or modifications in field and crop management can quickly increase the numbers of EPN and EPF to levels that will impact the peak pest populations. Sitona weevils are highly susceptible to common insect pathogens, and can play a key role in maintaining effective EPN and EPF levels in the field, while being under effective control themselves.
The pea leaf weevil, Sitona lineatus (L.; Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is a significant pest of field peas (Pisum sativum L.) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.) in most temperate regions. Considerable research progress has been made towards understanding its basic life cycle, including flight patterns, plant host interactions, and geographic distribution throughout its native and invasive ranges in Europe and North America, respectively. Management tactics investigated include chemical insecticides and tillage, but less work has been done on biological control, host plant resistance, intercropping and trap crops. Future research should focus on better integration of tactics that utilize an ecostacking approach to maximize diversity at various scales to mitigate risks from insect pests and subsequently reduce the need for chemical interventions.
The pea leaf weevil, Sitona lineatus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is an important pest of pulse crops around the world. Adult pea leaf weevils rely on intra- and interspecific chemical cues to orient within their environment for the purposes of finding food and mates. Early research to identify semiochemical cues used by pea leaf weevils has permitted the development of semiochemical-baited traps that can reliably detect local movements and geographic range expansion of this species even at low population densities. More research is required to realize the potential of semiochemical-based management of the pea leaf weevil.The goals of this review are to: 1) introduce the chemical ecology of the pea leaf weevil and other Sitona species; 2) review the research conducted on semiochemical-based management of the pea leaf weevil in different growing regions; and 3) evaluate important areas of future research in both basic and applied chemical ecology of this pest.
The pea weevil, Bruchus pisorum L. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), is a seed-feeding chrysomelid beetle. It is a strictly monophagous pest of Pisum sativum L. (Fabales: Fabaceae), and is a major pest of peas in the world, including the United States, Australia, Europe, Ethiopia, and parts of Asia. The genetically diverse U.S. population of B. pisorum suggest the introduction of B. pisorum individuals from several distinct populations. Infestations destroying ranges from 0 to 90% in various parts of United States. B. pisorum is univoltine and each generation takes 50–80 d from oviposition to adult emergence. Adults overwinter adjacent to fields and colonize pea fields at bloom. Volatile cues from pea plants attract B. pisorum females to oviposit. Cultural methods to control B. pisorum, including early planting and harvesting, are effective. Chemicals such as acetamiprid, pyrethroids, and organophosphate insecticides are commonly used as contact insecticides. Parasitoid Uscana senex Grese (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae), through augmentative releases seems promising for control of B. pisorum, and such efforts have met with success in Russia and Chile. In terms of plant resistance, the α-AI-1 gene, an α-amylase inhibitor, can control of B. pisorum in both outdoor and greenhouse pea crops. The neoplasm gene (Np allele) is an inducible form of resistance whose expression is induced by natural products of lipid origin found in B. pisorum. Expression of the neoplasm gene in resistant pea may be a possible approach for reducing B. pisorum infestation. Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies include cultural control, biological control, and planting of resistant pea varieties.
Minor pulses are cultivated on a small scale by economically poor farming communities for subsistence food. Currently, these crops are under-utilized or neglected, although they are reasonable sources of protein and can increase food security in rural areas. Research and development is underway to improve the grain quality and increase the productivity of these crops, both of which are negatively impacted by insect pest damage. Synthetic pesticides have proven to be the most effective control agents against all pests of minor pulses which include sap sucking insects. However, considering the drawbacks of pesticide residues in the grain, environmental pollution, and damage to natural enemies associated with synthetic pesticide use, integrated pest management schemes for pulses are being developed. For example, economic thresholds are being developed for pests of green gram (Vigna radiata [L.] R. Wilczek) and black gram (Vigna mungo [L.] Hepper) to avoid unnecessary pesticide applications. The adoption of these integrated practices by farmers in resource-poor communities should improve food security in rural areas. Here, we summarize existing information about the integrated control of pests of pulse crops.
The main sap-feeding insects of economic concern on pulse crops in Canada and the northern United States are the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), Lygus bugs, Lygus spp. (Hemiptera: Miridae), and the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). This review explores monitoring, decision making, and management strategies available for an integrated pest management program for these insects in pulse crops. Monitoring techniques and economic thresholds have been developed in some pulse crops for some of these insects, such as pea aphids in field peas, and potato leafhoppers in dry beans. In many instances, however, thresholds are either nominal or lacking. Few cultural controls are available as management options, and resistant varieties available to farmers are lacking. Recently, there have been some selective or partially selective insecticides registered for these insects in pulse crops, although more are still needed. Some biological controls exist, but research on additional biological controls, and possibly methods of incorporating them into existing thresholds, are needed. Progress has been made in providing strategies to manage sap-feeding insects in pulse crops, while preserving beneficial insects, but more work is still needed.
Wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) and cutworms (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) are significant soil insect pests of pulse crops including chickpea (garbanzo bean) (Cicer arietinum L.), field pea (Pisum sativum L.), and lentils (Lens culinaris Medikus). Integrated pest management strategies established for pest monitoring and nominal thresholds can be used for making management decisions. However, producers continue to rely on chemical control as their main strategy to reduce economic populations. Cultural strategies, such as crop rotation and tillage, and biological control agents, such as predators, parasitoids, nematodes, and entomopathogens, help mitigate wireworm and cutworm populations, but are usually not adequate for management of economic populations. Future research needs for wireworms and cutworms in pulse crops should concentrate more on developing improved economic thresholds, and integrating multiple management strategies, especially biological control and host plant resistance, to reduce the reliance on chemicals.
Due to their nutritional value and function as soil nitrogen fixers, production of pulses has been increasing markedly in the United States, notably in the dryland areas of the Northern Plains and the Pacific Northwest United States (NP&PNW).There are several insect-transmitted viruses that are prevalent and periodically injurious to pulse crops in the NP&PNW and elsewhere in North America. Others are currently of minor concern, occurring over limited areas or sporadically. Others are serious constraints for pulses elsewhere in the world and are not currently known in North America, but have the potential to be introduced with significant economic consequences. Managing plant viruses and the diseases they cause requires effective diagnostics, knowledge of virus vectors, virus transmission biology and ecology. A comprehensive compendium to inform producers and researchers about viruses currently and potentially affecting pulses in North America is needed. Here we provide an overview of insect transmitted viruses and their biology, followed by descriptions of the structure, infection biology, host ranges, symptoms, interspecific interactions, and current management options including host plant resistance and vector control for 33 viruses affecting or potentially affecting pulses in the United States and Canada. These are organized based on their transmission biology into persistently transmitted (families Geminiviridae, Luteoviridae and Nanoviridae), semi-persistantly transmitted (Secoviridae), and nonpersistantly transmitted (Betaflexiviridae, Bromoviridae and Potyviridae) viruses. We conclude with an overview of the principles of managing insect-transmitted viruses and an outline of areas requiring further research to improve management of viruses in pulses currently and into the future.
The insect pest complex in U.S. pulse crops is almost an “orphan” in terms of developed microbial control agents that the grower can use. There are almost no registered microbial pest control agents (MPCA) for the different pulse pests. In some cases, a microbial is registered for use against specific pests, e.g., grasshoppers, but not in pulse crops. In most cases, best-use practices for any of the microbials are not defined for pulses. Thus, there are ample research opportunities in this area. This review discusses what is actually or potentially available to manage each of the pulse crop pests and identifies research needs to make microbial control measures a reality.