Effect of the bacteria Providencia retgerri and P. alcalifaciens on Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew), production

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Mayra Rangel , Biology, UTPA, Mission, TX
Hugh E. Conway , Mission Laboratory, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST, Edinburg, TX
Christopher Vitek , Biology, University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX
Erin Schuenzel , Biology, University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX
Bacilio Salas , USDA, Edinburg, TX
Don C. Vacek , USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST, Pest Detection, Diagnostic, and Management Laboratory, Edinburg, TX
  The Mexican fruit fly (MFF), Anastrepha ludens (Loew), can cause serious economic losses to citrus producers due to yield reduction, insecticide treatment costs, fruit treatment costs for shipping, lost markets, and quarantines. To control and eradicate this insect, the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is used where flies are mass reared, irradiated, and aerial released over growing areas to control insect populations. Mexican fruit fly production is subject to many factors that can detrimentally effect insect production including microbial contamination.    In this study, initial data from small diet tests indicate that isolates of Providencia rettgeri and Providenica alcalifaciens isolated from MFF larvae as well as spent MFF diet have different impacts on production. Isolates for these bacteria have shown to have a 35% mortality compared to the water control.   Any reduction in MFF production reduces the effectiveness of SIT by lowering the number of available sterile males for release over the citrus groves. Additional studies are underway to develop methods of preventing and controlling P. rettgeri and P.alcalifaciens.
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