ETD system

Electronic theses and dissertations repository


Tesi etd-11112019-162923

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Biological control of pests in the vineyard with semio-chemicals and beneficial insects.
Settore scientifico disciplinare
Corso di studi
tutor Prof. Lucchi, Andrea
Parole chiave
  • Lobesia botrana
  • Cryptoblabes gnidiella
  • Planococcus ficus
  • Pseudococcus calceolariae
  • Biological control
  • Pheromones
  • Mating disruption
  • Viticulture
  • vineyard
  • pests
Data inizio appello
Riassunto analitico
Main aim of this thesis was to investigate new eco-friendly solutions against three of the pests that in the Mediterranean Countries yearly threaten the workers of the wine sector (Lobesia botrana, Cryptoblabes gnidiella, Planococcus ficus) both in the field of semiochemical strategies and in the use of natural enemies.
Regarding L. botrana, the efficacy of the mating disruption (MD) has been assessed by comparing two different ShinEtsu dispensers, Isonet® L TT (now available on the market) and Isonet® L TT BIO (under registration process). The trials were carried out along three years in different wine growing areas in Central and Northern Italy (paper N. 1). In addition to these published results, we are now testing new dispensing systems (i.e., aerosol dispensers) for L. botrana MD with the aim to improve effectiveness by reducing costs. Research is in progress and results will be published soon.
The paper N. 2 included in this Thesis is aimed to summarize the information available on the parasitoid complex of L. botrana in Italy. In our Country the complex of parasitoids detected on EGVM counts approximately 90 species belonging to 10 families of Hymenoptera (Braconidae, Ichneumonidae, Chalcididae, Eulophidae, Eupelmidae, Eurytomidae, Pteromalidae, Torymidae, Trichogrammatidae, and Bethylidae) and one family of Diptera (Tachinidae). The list is the result of the consultation of a vast bibliography published in Italy for almost two hundred years. This allowed the clarification and correction of misunderstandings and mistakes on the taxonomic position of each species listed in the Family Ichneumonidae, Subfamilies Anamaloninae and Campopleginae.
In the Mediterranean wine-growing areas, the parasitoid wasp Campoplex capitator was always regarded as the best candidate for the biological control of L. botrana. However, its application in the field has been prevented by the arduousness to obtain a stable breeding of the species. In 2016, a mass rearing of C. capitator was started in a common research project between University of Pisa and Servicio Agricola y Ganadero of Chile (SAG). Herein (paper N. 3) the key features that have been addressed to obtain an established breeding of C. capitator are reported.
Moreover, C. capitator mating sequence was analyzed by high-speed video recordings and the main behavioral parameters, with special reference to male wing fanning and antennal tapping, were quantified and linked with the subsequent mating success (paper N. 4, accepted with minor revisions). Results showed that male wing fanning was crucial to successfully approach the female. Males achieving higher mating success performed wing-fanning at higher frequencies if compared to unsuccessful ones. After wing fanning, most of males palpated the female’s body with their antennae, before attempting copulation. Their overall mating success was >70%, with a rather long copula duration. Furthermore, male wing-fanning was lateralized at population-level on the left, while antennal tapping displays were right-biased. Left- and right-biased male displays do not differ in terms of frequency and duration of their main features.
With regard to Cryptoblabes gnidiella (HM), several observations were carried out in Apulian vineyards (Southern Italy) for three years with the aim to improve knowledge about biology, ecology and control of this pest (paper N. 5). At the same time, mating disruption, Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki and other insecticides have been tested to control HM. Results of these trials are promising and will be the object of future publications.
As regards the vine mealybug Planococcus ficus we tested in Northern (Veneto) and Southern (Sicily) Italy a new experimental dispenser, ShinEtsu Isonet® PF, which showed good efficacy on wine and table grape vineyards (paper N. 6).
Moreover, we carried out field experiments on the potential biological control of P. ficus using the biocontrol agents Anagyrus sp. near pseudococci (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) (now Anagyrus vladimiri) and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in an Area-Wide Pest Management project.
Furthermore, during a period of six months spent in New Zealand, from October 2018 to April 2019, the capability of the mealybug Pseudococcus calceolariae males to fertilize multiple females has been studied in laboratory conditions. In a flight tunnel, the males capability to locate the female when constantly exposed to rubber septa loaded with synthetic sex pheromone was evaluated (paper N. 7).
In addition to these studies, we also tested the attractiveness of sticky traps baited with host induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) towards insect predators (Chrysopidae and Syrphidae) and parasitoids (Braconidae and Ichneumonidae). White sticky traps baited with a blend of methyl salicylate, acetic acid and 2-phenylethanol were strongly attractive to adult lacewings (Chrysopidae) of the genus Chrysoperla, but not to lacewings of the genus Pseudomallada. On the other hand, yellow sticky traps baited with a blend of geraniol and 2-phenylethanol were not attractive to Syrphidae. Both blends captured a relatively small number of Braconidae and Ichneumonidae (paper N. 8).