BIPESCO

Biocontrol of Important Soil Dwelling Pests by Improving the Efficacy of Insect Pathogenic Fungi

Funding: EU, RTD project FAIR6-CT98-4105*

Period: 1999-2001

Total cost: 2,443,297 EUR

Overall aim: Develop entomogenous fungi for the control of subterranean insect pests like Scarabs and weevils.

Specific objectives: Reducing production costs, risk assessment, stabilising virulence and optimising the impact of the biocontrol agent against target pests.

Key accomplishments: 

  • Fungal formulations with enhanced virulence and increased shelf-life were developed, as were new formulation techniques.
  • Improve knowledge of the spatial-temporal distribution of inoculum increased the understanding of how epizootics were initiated.
  • This linked to information on pest and fungal ecology and the effect of environmental factors on host-pathogen interactions.
  • Fieldwork studied the persistence of the pathogens (Beauveria brongniartii and Metarhizium anisopliae) in the soil at sites where they had been used extensively for scarab and weevil control.
  • Beauveria brongniartii registered as BCA in Austria in June 2000, and was the first effective propagule against Melolontha in the EU.

Impact:

  • BIPESCO has been officially evaluated as one of the sixteen agricultural success stories under the Fourth Framework Programme (FAIR). The success stories were drawn from the 239 selected projects across the six sub-areas that go together to make up Area 4 and the overall ranking for BIPESCO project was FIVE with an Impact Score of 187**.

Coordinator: Dr Hermann Strasser, Leopold-Franzens University Innsbruck, Technikerstrabe 25, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.
Phone: +43-512-507/6008, E-mail: Hermann.Strasser@uibk.ac.at

Website: http://www.uibk.ac.at/bipesco/projects/bipesco.html;
* http://ec.europa.eu/research/agro/fair/en/at4105.html
** http://www.uibk.ac.at/bipesco/projects/pdf_scientific/fair_success_stories.pdf