Project

RESEARCH

ECO2 - TUTA - Ecological and economic feasibility of mass production of biological agents to control tomato moth, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera, Gelechiidae) in protected culture

  • Team: Island Coccinellidae Evolutionary Ecology
  • Type: PO Azores
  • Category:Regional Research Project
  • 2019 to 2022

Summary

This proposal contains two scientific and technical innovations: (i) to provide scientific data on the genetics, biology, ecology and behavior of organisms native to the Azores and the mainland for further use in Biologica Control and industrial mass rearing; and (ii) in collaboration with a international private company, the development of an evaluation model and assessment of the economic and financial viability for the implementation of a bio-factory in the Azores.
Fulfilling the AGR1 and 3 of RIS3 goals, the operation associates applied research with business, values the natural resources and the sustainability of agroecosystems. It will stimulate the economy and the creation of jobs, in the area of technology and in symbiosis with the so-called green economy and will contribute to valorize the Azores brand.

Specific objectives:

  1. To assess the structure, composition and population dynamics of South American tomato moth and BCA’s guild associated to tomato crops;
  2. To measure the phenotypic variability of life-history traits of pygmaeus with a view to maximizing their mass production;
  3. To estimate the phenotypic and genetic variability of different population growth parameters of pygmaeus with a view to maximizing their mass production;
  4. To evaluate feeding preference of pygmaeus for eggs of T. absoluta eggs parasitized or not by Tr. achaeae;
  5. To evaluate, under laboratory and field conditions, the impact of synergetic/additive/antagonist interactions between pygmaeus. and Tr. achaeae and their role on the suppression of South American tomato moth populations in greenhouses;
  6. To establish a model for evaluating the potential of mass production and commercialization of BCA’s of South American tomato moth.

Funding Institution

FEDER & Operational Program Azores 2020.

Partners

Co-leader:

Maria Luísa Oliveira (Ph.D.; Biotechnology Centre of Azores, CBA);

Team members:
• João Cândido Tavares (Ph.D.; Biotechnology Centre of Azores, CBA);
• Maria da Graça Câmara Batista (Ph.D.; Centre of Applied Economics Studies of the Atlantic, CEEAplA);
• João Carlos Aguiar Teixeira (Ph.D.; Centre of Applied Economics Studies of the Atlantic, CEEAplA);
• José Adriano Rodrigues Mota (MSc; Governmental Direção de Serviços de Agricultura da Direção Regional da Agricultura, DSA/DRAg);
• Ana Catarina Faria Silva Durão (MSc; Governmental Direção de Serviços de Agricultura da Direção Regional da Agricultura, DSA/DRAg);

Collaborators:
• Elisabete Figueiredo (Ph.D.; Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food, LEAF);
• Elsa Borges da Silva (Ph.D.; Forest Research Centre, CEF)
• José Carlos Franco (Ph.D.; Forest Research Centre, CEF)
• Eric Lucas (Ph.D. diploma in Plant Biology – University Laval, UQÀM)
• Silvia Todorova (Ph.D. diploma Microbiology, Anatis Bioprotection Inc.)