Codling moth is the key pest in Washington apples, a $2 billion industry. WSU research suggests that reducing insecticide rates by 90% in conventional farms can provide control equivalent to full rates by improving predator conservation that supplements chemical control. However, fears of promoting insecticide resistance has prevented industry adoption. In organic blocks, codling moth is showing signs of insecticide resistance to codling moth granulovirus, a key codling moth organic insecticide. I propose a student theoretical modeling project to provide paths forward for insecticide resistance management in each, organic and conventional systems. First, for conventional production we will evaluate potential for predator conservation to inhibit evolution of prey insecticide resistance. Next, we will use arms race models to evaluate methods of adapting granulovirus to resistant populations. Finally, we will evaluate the potential of two codling moth pathogens, granulovirus and nematodes, to provide synergistic control by overwhelming the insects’ immune system.
- Principal Investigator(s): Northfield, T.
- Grant Amount: $37,734