Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Tree Fruit Research
headline bar

Tree Fruit Insect Research Objectives:

  • Develop basic knowledge of behavior and chemical ecology of orchard pests.
  • Refine commercial mating disruption systems for codling moth (CM) and develop attract-and-kill strategies and technology.
  • Develop basic knowledge of insecticide resistance in CM and leafrollers and incorporate this knowledge into resistance management strategies which involve restricted use of insecticides combined with alternative management tactics.
  • Study basic biology and genetics of native and exotic natural enemies associated with codling moth, leafrollers, and pear psylla. Determine compatibility of enemies with orchard IPM programs, mating disruption, and soft chemicals, such as soaps and insect growth regulators.
  • Determine taxonomic composition of natural enemies in native habitats surrounding orchards. Monitor and describe use of non-orchard habitats, alternative prey, and alternative host plants by natural enemies. Study basic biology of natural enemies in native habitats.
  • Evaluate role of orchard cultural practices, particularly ground cover management, use of windbreaks, and orchard cleanup on density and diversity of insect pests and natural enemies in orchard ecosystems. Manipulate practices to enhance natural enemy activity.
  • For secondary pests requiring control, develop management methods that are compatible with codling moth mating disruption and biological control for key pests.
  • Evaluate approaches and methods for use of sterile insect techniques against codling moth and in conjunction with other biointensive methods of control.
  • Improve pest detection and monitoring through discovery, identification and application of chemical attractants.

Researchers Conducting Tree Fruit Insect Research at YARL:

  • Dr. Peter Landolt, (Research Leader)
    • Dr. Peter Landolt serves as Research Leader for YARL. Dr. Landolt's research interests include the development of attractants for monitoring and control of moth pests of tree fruit crops. Current targets are spotted wing drosophila, codling moth, paper wasps and brown marmorated stink bugs.
  • Dr. Thomas Unruh
    • Dr. Tom Unruh's research involves classical biological control introductions of parasitoids, studies of natural products for pest control, landscape ecology studies and molecular studies on pest and natural enemies to evaluate insecticide resistance, biogeographic and genetic relationships, and, most recently, to evaluate predation rates.
  • Dr. David Horton
    • Dr. Horton is a Research Entomologist having interests in behavioral ecology, biological control and applied ecology. His research focuses on the biology and management of insect pests in pears, with emphasis on pear psylla. Other interests include studies on the population biology and behavior of predatory true bugs in the families Anthocoridae and Miridae.
  • Dr. Alan Knight
    • Dr. Alan Knight currently develops lures for oriental fruit moth, utilizes pear ester to improve monitoring and management of codling moth, and is researching ways to develop new techniques that improve the use of sex pheromones for mating disruption of codling moth of pome fruits.
  • Dr. Lisa Neven
    • Dr. Lisa Neven is working on the development of genetic sexing lines of codling moth, using transgenesis, for use in sterile insect release programs. Dr. Neven also works on the development of non-chemical postharvest quarantine treatments for deciduous tree fruits. She has developed the technology called CATTS (Controlled Atmosphere/Temperature Treatment System) which incorporated short term high temperature treatments under low oxygen, high carbon dioxide environments.
  • Dr. Wee Yee
    •  Dr. Yee's current research at YARL deals with the behavior, ecology, and control of temperate fruit flies (western cherry fruit fly and apple maggot), specifically their mating behavior, dispersal behavior, attraction to traps and lures, and the effects of diet on fecundity.
  • Dr. Steve Garczynski
    • Dr. Stephen Garczynski has a multifaceted research program to develop biochemical, molecular and genetic approaches to managing codling moth and other lepidopteran pests of tree fruit. Research areas include Codling Moth Genomics, Neuropeptide and Peptide Hormone Receptors, Chemosensory Receptors, Signal Transduction Pathways, Bt Toxin Mode of Action, and Molecular Mechanisms of Insecticide Resistance.
  • Dr. Rodney Cooper
    • Dr. Rodney Cooper is a Research Entomologist whose research interests include the biology and ecology of Hemipteran pests of fruit trees. He is currently investigating host-plant resistance against the pear psylla, and interactions among psyllids, psyllid-vectored pathogens, and their host-plants.


Last Modified: 3/27/2013
Footer Content Back to Top of Page