The western corn rootworm is a major invasive maize pest in North America and Europe. Control options become more and more limited as problematic pesticides are being phased out. 10 years of joint efforts in research and development by academic, legislative and commercial partners have led to a nematode-based biological control solution for this destructive maize pest. Mass-produced beneficial nematodes Heterorhabditis bacteriophora are now available as a commercial product.
The western corn rootworm is a major invasive maize pest in North America and Europe. The phase-out of certain pesticides means control options are increasingly limited. New technologies are being researched in collaboration with five French partners. Using field surveys and candidate gene searches through database-mining, we are investigating bacterial proteins with insecticidal effects. Promising strains are then screened in vitro to develop biopesticidial or biotechnological control options.
The western corn rootworm is a destructive pest of maize. Most damage is caused by larvae feeding on the roots, which becomes apparent when plants lodge. Drawing on some 15 yearS experience as a research and development partner on corn rootworms, CABI has become a key service provider for field surveys, laboratory and field research on basic ecology and management of the pest, rearing including supplying eggs for research, and writing support.