Apiculture, Biological Control, Conservation and Pollinator Protection
Faculty, particularly those at the two Experiment Stations, investigate traditional kinds of biological control techniques including the use of parasitic insects, predators, and cultural practices that will suppress pest populations or augment beneficial species. In addition, novel kinds of biological control using genetically altered viruses and crop plants engineered to produce Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal proteins have been developed. These viruses and plants provide new tools for the biological control and pest management program. Greenhouse screening for high yield soybean breeding lines resistant to damage by various leaf-feeding Lepidoptera. A computerized system, based on video digitation of leaf area consumed, is used to compare resistant and susceptible cultivars before evaluating them under field conditions. The chemical basis for resistance is also being investigated.