The tomato fruitworm is the name given to an insect pest which, due to its polyphagous character, causes very serious damage to a number of plants, such as the tomato and the green bean. Its danger is greater if one takes into account the fact that this pest has developed resistances to chemical insecticides, including tot he latest ones. Thus, a Crop Protection research team from the Public University of Navarra have started work on developing a bioinsecticide that can be used as an alternative control measure.
The research project is called "Characterisation of isolated multiple Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus for its development as an active material in bioinsecticides".
A worldwide pest
The Helicoverpa armigera insect, the scientific name for the tomato fruitworm, is found widely distributed throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania, where it is considered to be a very serious pest. In Spain it has been traditionally one of the most important pests in cotton and maize but, since more than a decade ago, it has become a feared pest for several vegetable crops. These insects have a predilection for fruit, penetrating into their interior, on which they feed and frequently emigrating from one fruit to another and capable of destroying several during its larval stage.
Control of this pest with synthetic organic insecticides, apart from the toxicity and environmental problems arising from their use, is turning out to be of little efficacy due to the great capacity the organism has for developing resistances to a great variety of active materials.
Thus the need to put into place alternative control measures, outstanding amongst which is the biological control with baculovirus, a virus exclusive to insect pathogens, and which show a great number of properties favourable
Contact: Irati Kortabitarte