• the international capacity

                     Identification and Characterization of Biological Control Agents for Lepidopterous Pest in the Delmarva Ecosystem

    NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Corn and soybean crops growing in the Delmarva region are damaged by Lepidopteran pest, the corn earworm, and the silver spotted skipper. These pests have become resistant to conventional chemical and biological insecticides through naturalistic development, while public pressures have decreased usage of chemicals for the safety of the environment. Therefore, biocontrol agents similar to Bacillus thuringiensis must be expanded addressing this resistance. Bacillus previously isolated from E. clarus larvae with insecticidal properties were tested in 2004 through 2007. Fifty percent of the isolates caused 80% larvae mortality in 5 to 7 days. Bacilli identification was based on 16S rRNA Gene alignment. These new bacilli and other unidentified bacilli could have the potential of replacing present resistant microbial control agents in alleviating the corn ear and foliar plus pod damage from corn earworm and silver spotted larvae. Therefore, the main goal of this project is to develop a biological insecticide to enhance soybean growth while maintaining the environmental stewardship of Delmarva.

    FUNDING:  NIFA - Capacity Building Grant

    CONTACT:  Dr. Bessie Green; Research Associate; Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences; bmgreen@umes.edu