Reports Archive 2014

December, 2014

Journal of Economic Entomology, 2014, 107(6): 2107-2118.
The article is available here to individuals with subscription.

Abstract: Justin M. Renkema, Rosemarije Buitenhuis and Rebecca H. Hallett. Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is a recent invasive pest of fruit crops in North America and Europe. Carpophagous larvae render fruit unmarketable andmaypromote secondary rot-causing organisms. To monitor spread and develop programs to time application of controls, further work is needed to optimize trap design and trapping protocols for adult D. suzukii. We compared commercial traps and developed a new, easy-to-use plastic jar trap that performed well compared with other designs. For some trap types, increasing the entry area led to increased D. suzukii captures and improved selectivity for D. suzukii when populations were low. However, progressive entry area enlargement had diminishing returns, particularly for commercial traps. Unlike previous studies, we found putting holes in trap lids under a close-fitting cover improved captures compared with holes on sides of traps. Also, red and black traps outperformed yellow and clear traps when traps of all colors were positioned 10–15 cm apart above crop foliage. In smaller traps, attractant surface area and entry area, but not other trap features (e.g., headspace volume), appeared to affect D. suzukii captures. In the new, plastic jar trap, tripling attractant volume (360 vs 120 ml) and weekly attractant replacement resulted in the highest D. suzukii captures, but in the larger commercial trap these measures only increased by-catch of large-bodied Diptera. Overall, the plastic jar trap with large entry area is affordable, durable, and can hold high attractant volumes to maximize D. suzukii capture and selectivity.

Controlled-release fertilizer application rates for container nursery crop production in southwestern Ontario, Canada
November, 2014

HortScience, Published November 2014.
By Erin Agro and Youbin Zheng

Region-specific trials examining optimum controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) rates for the Canadian climate are limited. This study was conducted to determine an optimum range of CRF application rates and the effect of the application rate on growth, nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) losses of six economically important container-grown woody ornamental shrubs using typical production practices at a southwestern Ontario nursery. Salix purpurea ‘Nana’, Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’, Cornus sericea ‘Cardinal’, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bombshell’, Hibiscus syriacus ‘Ardens’, and Spiraea japonica ‘Magic Carpet’ were potted in 1-gal pots and fertilized with Polyon® 16N-2.6P-10K (5–6 month longevity) incorporated at rates of 0.8, 1.2, 1.7, 2.1, and 2.5 kg·m−3 N in 2012. The experiment was repeated for the 2013 growing season with rates of CRF incorporated at 0.05, 0.35, 0.65, 0.95, and 1.25 kg·m−3 N. Plant performance (i.e., growth index) and leachate electrical conductivity (EC) and pH were evaluated once every 3 to 4 weeks during the respective growing seasons. The amount of N and P lost to the environment was determined for the 2012 growing season. The interaction between nutrient supply rate and target species affected most response variables. Although higher levels of fertilization produced larger plants and had the potential to decrease production time, increased losses of N and P and higher EC leachate values occurred. Results of this study indicate that an acceptable range of CRF application rates can be used for each species depending on the production goals, i.e., decreased production time, maximum growth, or decreased nutrient leachate. Overall, the highest acceptable CRF rates within the optimal range were: 1.25 kg·m−3 N for Spiraea; 1.7 kg·m−3 N for Hydrangea; 2.1 kg·m−3 N for Cornus; and 2.5 kg·m−3 N for Weigela, Salix, and Hibiscus. The lowest acceptable rates within the optimal range were: 0.35 kg·m−3 N for Hibiscus; 0.65 kg·m−3 N for Cornus, Weigela, Salix, and Spiraea; and 0.80 kg·m−3 N for Hydrangea.

Corporate brochure 2014
September, 2014


  • Chair remarks
  • CEO remarks
  • Board of Directors
  • Science Advisory Committee members
  • Stakeholder Advisory Committee members
  • Business update
  • Research strategy
  • Our 10 research programs
  • Partners and collaborators
September, 2014

IOBC WPRS Bulletin, 2014, 102: 23-28.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: Michael Brownbridge, Rose Buitenhuis, Taro Saito, Angela Brommit, Paul Côté and Graeme Murphy. Historically, poinsettia cuttings shipped into Ontario from offshore production facilities have carried very low levels of immature Bemisia whiteflies. These have been successfully controlled by preventative releases of parasitoids (Encarsia formosa, Eretmocerus mundus). In 2012 though, cuttings arrived into Ontario carrying large numbers of Bemisia eggs and nymphs. Parasitoid releases proceeded as normal but failed to regulate whitefly populations; multiple pesticide treatments were required to provide effective control. Endemic whitefly resistance (owing to heavy pesticide use in production facilities) means that insecticides registered in Canada frequently have reduced efficacy. Furthermore, pesticide residues on imported material can have a detrimental effect on parasitoid survival and performance. To ensure greater sustainability in poinsettia production, new methods of control are required to mitigate incoming pests on cuttings and ensure that biological control systems can be maintained through the crop production cycle. Several reduced-risk products, biopesticides and combination treatments, applied to infested cuttings by dipping immediately prior to sticking, were therefore evaluated to determine their relative efficacy against whitefly, ensure compatibility with parasitoids and to assess possible phytotoxic effects. A combination of insecticidal soap and Beauveria bassiana (BotaniGard® WP; BioWorks Inc., Victor, NY) was the most effective treatment tested; phytotoxic effects were minimal (some variation across cultivars) and survival of Encarsia and Eretmocerus was not affected following release onto treated leaves. The project has allowed effective treatments to be identified that can be readily implemented on a commercial scale.

September, 2014

IOBC WPRS Bulletin, 2014, 102: 29-35.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: Michael Brownbridge, Taro Saito and Paul Côté. Western flower thrips (WFT) are a major impediment in greenhouse floriculture. They are pests of global significance, resistant to many conventional insecticides and in Canada today, there is only one registered product that will successfully control this insect. Biological control is the only viable option available to Canadian growers. The thrips life cycle provides two distinct environments and life stages that can be targeted with different natural enemies. Nematodes, primarily Steinernema feltiae (e.g., Nemasys®), applied as a drench treatment, are widely used against soil-dwelling stages (pro-pupae and pupae). Metarhizium brunneum (formerly anisopliae; Met52® granular biopesticide) is registered for thrips control in Canada. The fungus is incorporated into potting media and will infect and kill thrips entering the soil to pupate. The purpose of the current trial was to define efficient use practices for these biocontrol agents and confirm their compatibility. We investigated effects of plant growth stage on nematode deposition onto the soil, nematode-Met52compatibility, and the relative efficacy of individual and combined, i.e. Nemasys + Met52, treatments against WFT. As chrysanthemums grew and the density of the plant canopy increased, fewer nematodes reached the soil after each spray which may affect efficacy. Overall, Met52 appears to be compatible with S. feltiae. Individual nematode and fungus treatments had a measurable suppressive effect on thrips, but the combined nematode/fungus treatment provided superior control. WFT populations were consistently lower on plants receiving the combined treatment; at the conclusion of the trial (8 weeks) < 10 WFT/pot were recovered. Opportunities therefore exist to enhance the reliability and cost-effectiveness of thrips biocontrol agents by taking an integrated approach to their deployment.

September, 2014

IOBC WPRS Bulletin, 2014, 102: 37-43.
The article is available  here at a cost

Abstract: Rose Buitenhuis. We have been doing a lot of research to optimize biocontrol and to convince growers that biocontrol is the way to go, but good pest control is still hit or miss because we still concentrate too much on the individual components instead of on the whole picture. Using the systems approach, I think we can build more robust IPM programs and identify areas of weakness that have to be addressed by research or innovation.

July, 2014

Biocontrol Science and Technology, 2014, 24 (10): 1153-1166.
The article is available here to individuals with subscription.

Abstract: Rosemarije Buitenhuis, Erik Glemser and Angela Brommit. This research investigated factors that affect the performance of Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) slow release sachets, focusing on dispersal in environments with non-continuous canopies and high exposure to greenhouse environmental conditions. When released from a central plant in a tray, the distribution of N. cucumeris across all other plants was uneven with the majority of mites recovered at the release point. Shading by a plant canopy reduced the mean internal temperature of the sachets, temperature peaks were less pronounced and the relative humidity was higher than in exposed sachets. Most N. cucumeris left the exposed sachets in the first week, followed by reduced emergence and no signs of breeding were observed in the sachets. Sachets in a plant canopy had low emergence during the first week, increasing thereafter. Overall, plant canopy sachets released more N. cucumeris than exposed sachets. Emergence patterns of N. cucumeris from sachets under greenhouse and ideal conditions were variable, with sachets generally performing better under ideal conditions. Even under constant ideal conditions, the number of N. cucumeris released from sachets varied among batches and some produced a suboptimal number of predators. Results demonstrate that exposed greenhouse conditions can seriously affect the performance of N. cucumeris sachets and that good coverage is needed to compensate for limited dispersal in non-continuous plant canopies.

July, 2014

Genome Announcements, 2014, 2 (4).
Click here to read the article

Abstract: Abdelbaset I. Yagubi, Alan J. Castle, Andrew M. Kropinski, Travis W. Banks and Antonet M. Svircev. The complete genome of an Erwinia amylovora bacteriophage, vB_EamM_Ea35-70 (Ea35-70), is 271,084 bp, encodes 318 putative proteins, and contains one tRNA. Comparative analysis with other Myoviridae genomes suggests that Ea35-70 is related to the Phikzlikevirus genus within the family Myoviridae, since 26% of Ea35-70 proteins share homology to proteins in Pseudomonas phage φKZ.

Ontario horticulture research priority report 2014
June, 2014


  • Edible horticulture
  • Ornamental horticulture
June, 2014

Journal of Pest Science, 2014, 87 (2): 249-258.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: Alexandra Grygorczyk, Jessica Turecek and Isabelle Lesschaeve. The current study aimed to determine how the pest management practice applied during crop production may impact consumer purchase intentions of an edible (tomato) and a non-edible (chrysanthemum) greenhouse crop. The study examined five pest management practices and applied conjoint analysis to evaluate the relative importance of the pest management practice compared to several other product factors (price, benefit claims related to the pest management practice, tomato variety/flower colour, quality) in contributing to consumers’ purchase intentions. Out of the factors examined, price (26–29 % relative importance) and the pest management practice (22–25 % relative importance) were the most important to consumers. In both studies, there were segments of the sampled populations (13.5–24 %) for whom the pest management practice was the most important factor driving purchase decisions. These segments had significantly more consumers with low confidence in science and technology and preferred products grown using organic practices or pests’ natural predators. In the tomatoes study (crop intended for consumption), the proportion of pest management conscious consumers nearly doubled compared to the chrysanthemums study. Findings suggest that making consumers aware that a product has been produced using pests’ natural predators (i.e. using biocontrol strategies) for pest management could convince a significant segment of the population to purchase these products over other similar products. When the crop is edible, a higher proportion of consumers becomes concerned with the production practice.