A NEW SEMIOCHEMICAL BIOPESTICIDE FOR COTTON PEST MANAGEMENT: DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT
Australian cotton is now dominated by transgenic (Bt) varieties, which provides a strong platform for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of key pests such as Helicoverpa spp. This now means though that new selective IPM products are required to manage the development of resistance in Helicoverpa spp. to transgenic cotton and the control of emerging and secondary pests, especially sucking insects. A 10 year study looking at organ surfaces of plants identified Clitoria ternatea plants as having compounds that deter feeding, oviposition which are toxic and do not support the development of Helicoverpa spp. and other sucking pests on cotton plants. In collaboration with Innovate Agriculture Pty Ltd, these compounds have been developed into a product (Sero X) that is effective on Helicoverpa spp., Bemisia tabaci (silverleaf whiteflies) and Creontiades dilutus (green mirids) with minimal impact on beneficial insects, and is in the advanced stages of commercialisation for use in the cotton industry.