2. Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPDM) Project

DPI Vic and PFR NZ are:

·         Developing two new bio-control agents to manage woolly apple aphid and codling moth

·         Consolidating models and adding new data to provide a tool to manage apple scab

·         Reviewing IPDM on a holistic scale.

The project team is completing a desktop study of interactions between pests, new and existing bio-control agents, diseases, pesticides and host crop plants. The study is expected to provide insights that will guide the development of future IPDM systems for apple and pear growers.

A parasitoid wasp that attacks codling moth has been a successful control agent in the USA and Argentina. Host-range testing of the wasp in Australia and NZ has demonstrated high specificity against codling moth larvae and pupae with no activity against key Australian native insects and no activity against introduced pests (such as oriental fruit moth) or bio-control agents (such as gorse pod moth) that are closely related to codling moth.

An application to release the parasitoid wasp from quarantine in NZ has been lodged with that country's Environmental Protection Authority while an application to release the wasp from quarantine in Australia was lodged with Biosecurity Australia in April 2012.

For the investigation of apple scab management, weather stations deployed in Goulburn Valley and southern Victoria are collecting weather and shoot/fruit growth data to develop a sub-model that relates temperature to the susceptibility of apple tissues. This will be integrated with outputs from weather and ascospore maturity models to determine overall disease risk. Studies on four of the six woolly apple aphid populations (Albury, Batlow, Stanley, Shepparton, Three Bridges, and Harcourt) reared in isolation at DPI Vic Rutherglen on both potted trees in a glasshouse and excised stems in the laboratory demonstrated significant differences in fecundity and development time. These differences strongly suggest the populations are different biotypes