Arthropod-Plant Interactions

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 81–95 | Cite as

Entomovectoring in plant protection

  • Veerle MommaertsEmail author
  • Guy SmaggheEmail author
Review Article


This paper gives an overview on the unique concept of the entomovector technology to employ pollinating insects, including honey bees and bumble bees in the context of biological control of insect pests and diseases. After a brief introductory description, the multifaceted aspects of this intriguing technology are highlighted by describing the most significant results and achievements of research groups around the world concerning: (1) the importance of vector selection, as this determines the transport efficacy of biocontrol agents into the crop and is influenced by the vector–plant interactions, (2) the different potential biocontrol agents used so far, (3) the significance of the diluent and formulation for an increased vector loading and transport, (4) the different dispenser types developed over the past 20 years, and (5) the safety of this technology to the environment and humans. For all these interactions, we identify in a critical manner the limitations and the successes obtained so far. The needs for further research are also discussed to increase the potential of the entomovector technology in practical use.


Pollinator Apis mellifera Bombus terrestris Vector Crop protection Dispenser Biological control agent Microbial control Formulation 



This research was funded by the Special Research Fund of VUB (Brussels, Belgium), and a PhD fellowship of the Luxembourg Ministry for Culture, Higher Education and Research.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Cellular Genetics, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Bio-engineering SciencesFree University of BrusselsBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Laboratory of Agrozoology, Department of Crop Protection, Faculty of Bioscience EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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