Assessing the use of antimicrobials to sterilize brown marmorated stink bug egg masses and prevent symbiont acquisition
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The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is dependent on a beneficial obligate symbiont for successful development, survival, and fecundity. The bacteria are deposited on the egg mass surface by the female, and first instar nymphs become inoculated with the bacteria by feeding on the egg chorions upon hatching. Targeting the bacteria exposed on the egg mass surface may prove to be a viable management strategy for the stink bug. Egg masses were surface-treated with several antimicrobials and surfactants to determine whether exposure to these products adversely affected the fitness of newly hatched nymphs and/or sterilized the egg mass surface to prevent nymphal acquisition of the symbiont. Laboratory results showed that egg hatch rate was significantly reduced by Agri-Mycin and Naiad, nymphal survival was significantly impacted by AzaGuard and Naiad, and symbiont acquisition was significantly disrupted by Naiad, AzaGuard, and Liquid Copper Fungicide. Under field conditions, there were no significant treatment effects on nymphal survival or symbiont acquisition, but egg hatch rate was reduced by Naiad and Triton-X. Products with both antimicrobial effects and the ability to penetrate the coating covering the bacteria provided the best chance for disrupting symbiont acquisition.
KeywordsStink bug Symbiont disruption Antimicrobials Surfactants
We thank Dr. Kathryn Everts for her assistance in choosing the products tested in the study, as well as Dr. Julie Dunning-Hotopp and Nikhil Kumar for providing the positive control primers used to test the quality of the DNA samples. We also thank Dr. Thomas Kuhar for providing locations in Virginia to collect H. halys adults when populations were low in Maryland. This work was funded by the following grant: United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) #2011-51181-30937: Biology, Ecology, and Management of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in orchard Crops, Small Fruit, Grapes, Vegetables and Ornamentals. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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