Andhra Pradesh

Whitefly predator eggs to be mass-produced

YSR Horticultural University authorities signing an MoU with private firms to increase production of predators of Rugose Spiralling white fly.Photo: Handout   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT

The Dr. YSR Horticultural University (Dr. YSRHU), buoyed by successful experiments on predators of the invasive Rugose Spiralling Whitefly, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with several companies for mass production of the predator eggs.

Speaking to The Hindu, Dr YSRHU Vice-Chancellor Tolety Janakiram said that the university has conducted excellent research with regard to the Whitefly. For the first time in the country, standardisation of predator Pseudomallada astur (P. astur) was done. The predator Pseudomallada astur would hold the key to controlling the invasive whitefly, he said.

The varsity has signed MoUs with private firms to scale up the production. Agreements were signed with Godrej Agrovet based in Chintalapudi of West Godavari district, SSD Enterprises (Gopalapatnam, West Godavari district), Cryptox Biosolutions (Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu) and Echocare Ltd. (Trichy, Tamil Nadu).

“The MoUs were entered into for mass production of potential predator Pseudomallada astur on a non-exclusive basis,” Dr. Janakiram said.

The V-C said that a capacity-building programme on mass multiplication of Corcyra cephalonica (rice moth) and neuroptera predator Pseudomallada astur was imparted to technical personnel from those firms.

“As part of the programme, practical training on rearing of host Corcyra cephalonica and predator Pseudomallada astur was imparted to them. Entire protocol of mass rearing of C. cephalonica, production of Pseudomallada astur and its release technique was taught to them. The methodology of multiplication was simplified and low-cost technology that can be replicated was standardised to promote large-scale mass production,” he said.

The mass production is done on lab surrogate host Corcyra cephalonica and predator Pseudomallada astur larvae are reared on these host eggs, he said.

At present, Varsity’s bio-control lab’s annual production of predator eggs is 25 to 30 lakh. But demand is enormous and the firm has an indent booking of over one month. Demand for predator eggs is also pouring in from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Gujarat.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 1:04:25 AM |

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