Strategies for controlling insect pests in ornamental crops


Indian floriculture industry is facing a number of challenges related to infrastructure, production, marketing and in export concerned. The challenges being faced by floriculture industry are the production level challenges, climate related challenges, marketing and transportation related challenges, institutional related challenges and obstacles in export. One of the major problem is the risk of incursion of pests through import and export of floriculture products. Pest control is vital to producers of ornamental crops that are subject to physical or aesthetic damage by insect pests. The over use of pesticides has led to the development of insect resistance to major insecticide groups, residue problems on marketable crops, toxicity towards beneficial non target organisms and contamination of the environment. Therefore, in the framework of IPM programmes multiple complementary tactics are necessary, including monitoring, cultural, physical and mechanical measures, host plant resistance, biological control and semiochemicals along with the judicious use of pesticides (Mouden et al, 2016).

Most chrysanthemum genotypes are sensitive to aphid and infestations can lower quality and cause transmission of viruses. The protease inhibitor sea anemone equistatin (SAE) carries domains responsible for the inhibition of both cysteine and aspartic proteases. Chrysanthemum genotype 1581 by agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation with the SAE gene under the control of the chrysanthemum RbcS promoter to induce aphid resistance (Valizadeh et al, 2013). SAE may be a promising agent for the control of some aphid species in transgenic plants. Thrips are one of the major pests of many of ornamental crops causing 25-95% damage (Gahukar , 2003). Tolerance to thrips on floriculture crops is particularly low. Thus the best way to prevent viral infection is to control thrips from the beginning of plant growth. Spinosad in combination with imidachloprid (half the labeled dose) showed significant thrips control up to 16 days after insecticide application (Garima, 2013). Molecular modifications, genetic engineering and the development of novel biological products, including microorganisms and metabolites, will allow the development of improved cultivars that are able to respond to insect attack by enhancing resistance. However, not only should new strategies be explored, but existing ones should be viewed in the context of IPM programmes, with the emphasis on compatibility as well as on ecological, environmental and economic consequences.
Gupta G. (2013). Managing thrips on roses with combinations of neonicotinoide and biological insecticides. Journal of Agriculture and Urban Entomology. 29(1):16-24.
Mouden S. (2016).Integrated pest management in western flower thrips present, past and future. Pest management science. 73 :822-830.
Valizadeh M, Deraison C, Kamal S and Rahbe Y. (2013). Aphid resistance in florists chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat) induced by sea anemone equistatin overexpression. Journal of African Biotechnology. 12(50): 6922-6930.

Ambu Vijayan

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