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Abstract

The cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), has become a widespread pest causing serious losses in several economically important crops, particularly cotton. To the best of our knowledge this is the first record of cotton mealybug, P. solenopsis as a new pest of potato plants in Egypt. The insect was noticed on potato plants for the first time during the growing season of 2016 (mid-August 2016). Mealybug specimens were collected from infested potato plants and identified as P. solenopsis. In an attempt to control this insect pest species, seven insecticides viz. sulfoxaflor, abamectin + thiamethoxam, spirotetramat, thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, buprofezin, and pymetrozine, belonging to different chemical groups, were tested for their effect against nymphs and adult females of P. solenopsis on potato under field conditions. The obtained results indicated that sulfoxaflor, abamectin + thiamethoxam and spirotetramat had the highest efficacy against P. solenopsis recording 80.3–96.05% reduction of the insect population after 21 days of application. Thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, buprofezin and pymetrozine failed to exhibit sufficient P. solenopsis control.
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Abstract

Effective control of Leptinotarsa decemlineata remains an urgent problem for agriculture worldwide. Minimization of the use of non-selective neonicotinoid insecticides, such as thiomethoxam, is an actual vector of development of potato cultivation. In this rapid communication, we show the prospect of the topical use of short unmodified antisense fragment of L. decemlineata CYP6B gene as a DNA insecticide. Investigated parameters, namely, number of larvae per plant, aboveground biomass, yield and number of potatoes produced per plant indicate the possibility of this post-genomic approach as a safe and effective method of L. decemlineata control.
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