Research on integrated management of insects and mites in California strawberry production has been conducted by the Zalom lab for 19 years.Ongoing research has focused upon various aspects of spider mite management including development of reduced risk acaricides, impacts of new acaricides on biological control agents, redefining economic thresholds of newer varieties, and screening advanced strawberry selections to determine tolerance of spider mite feeding (in cooperation with UC Davis Pomologist Dr. Doug Shaw). Major research studies are also targeting biology and management of Lygus bugs, thrips (in cooperation with UC Davis Pomologist Dr. Kirk Larson and UCCE Monterey Co. Farm Advisor Dr. Steve Koike), greenhouse whiteflies (in cooperation with UC Riverside Entomologist Dr. Nick Toscano), Lepidoptera pests
Almonds and Stone Fruits:
Research on integrated management of insects and mites in California almond and stone fruit production has been conducted by the Zalom lab for 25 years.Research for the past several years has involved identifying alternatives to the dormant organophosphate insecticides (tank mixed with horticultural mineral oils) which have been a foundation for management of peach twig borer, San Jose scale, aphids, European red mites and brown mites. This research has involved development of new insecticides (including several which are of biological origin), and alternative treatment timing, and sampling of the San Jose scale (in collaboration with UC IPM Farm Advisor Walt Bentley). Spider mite and predatory mites research has again become a major focus for activity of the Zalom lab under the direction of Dr. Francisco Javier Saenz de Cabazon, a visiting Fulbright Scholar from Spain, who is studying the side effects of new pesticides on this important predator/prey system in orchard crops. Collaborative research ion ten lined June beetle biology and management and navel orangewom pheromone identification is also being conducted in collaboration with UC Davis Entomologist Dr. Walter Leal.
Olive fly was first detected in California in 1998, and has become established in all California olive growing regions.Research in the Zalom lab on olive fruit fly, which was initiated in 2002, is focused on the dissertation research of PhD candidate Hannah Burrack. Specific projects include olive fly phenology model development (in cooperation with CDFA Entomologist Ray Bingham and Butte County Agricultural Commissioner Richard Price), studies of reproductive development (in cooperation with UCCE Farm Advisors Joe Connell, Lynn Wunderlich, Paul Vossen and Phil Phillips), cultural controls (in cooperation with UCCE Farm Advisors Bill Krueger and Joe Connell), yeast ecology and lure development (in collaboration with UC Davis Food Scientist Dr. Kyria Boundy-Mills), trap efficiency (in cooperation with UCCE Farm Advisors Bill Krueger and Joe Connell), and insecticide efficacy evaluation (in collaboration with UC Berkeley Entomologist Dr. Bob Van Steenwyk). PhD student Soledad Villamil, who is being co-advised with Dr. Ed Lewis, will focus her dissertation research on biology of the immature stages of the fly in the soil, and the potential for controlling olive fly in the soil with entomopathogenic nematodes, one of Dr. Lewis' special areas of expertise.
For over 20 years, the Zalom lab has conducted various studies on IPM of grape vineyards including research on cover crops in grapes vineyards (in particular impacts on grape leafhopper and spider mite populations), spider mite biological and chemical controls, mealybug biology, branch and twig borer biology and control, and cutworm biology and control. For the past 5 years, most efforts have focused on the glassy-winged sharpshooter, a major problem for southern California grape growers because of its capacity to spread Pierce's disease, a bacterium which can kill grapevines. In 2005, Dr. Natalie Hummel completed her dissertation research on its reproductive physiology and morphology, and this area of research is now being concluded. A major new research line will now focus primarily on spider mite management, in particular the integrated control of new acaricides with biological control agents.
Current research in the Zalom lab focuses the long term effects of organic farming and alternative tillage systems on the soil arthropod community, on biology and management of stink bugs and potato aphids.Research on a systems comparison of organic and conventional tomato production incorporating no till and conventional tillage practices being sponsored by the USDA-CSREES Organic Research Program will permit soil arthropod communities to be studied in a soil web framework. This research is being conducted jointly with Dr. Lynn Epstein (UC Davis, Plant Pathology) and Howard Ferris (UC Davis, Nematology). Stink bug management, in particular, requires understanding of the insect's role in the landscape, and research has concentrated on its movement, seasonal reproductive development and biological control. Potato aphid management has focused on sampling, damage thresholds, varietal susceptibility and chemical controls - most recently on organically acceptable insecticides and adjuvants that may be used to increase their efficacy. Previous research in the Zalom lab developed action thresholds and sampling methods (for tomato fruitworms (in cooperation with Cornell University Entomologist Dr. Michael Hoffmann and Texas A&M Entomologist Dr. Ted Wilson), beet armyworms, stink bugs and potato aphids), a tomato fruit phenology model (in collaboration with Texas A&M Entomologist Dr. Ted Wilson), cultural and biological controls and hosts plant resistance for the silverleaf whitefly (in collaboration with Texas A&M Entomologist Dr. Kevin Heinz and Seminis Seeds Geneticist Dr. Anna Frampton).
Insecticides used in California during the dormant season become an environmental issue when they move from the orchards into surface waters.Research in the Zalom lab since 1997 has focused on alternative pest management approches, pesticide application management, and site management practices. In particular, research has focused on development and validation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce or prevent offsite movement in stormwater runoff. This work has involved ongoing interdisciplinary collaboration with a team of UC scientists including Dr. Inge Werner (UC Davis Aquatic Toxicology Lab), Dr. Wes Wallender (UC Davis, Hydrology), Drs. Ken Giles and Herb Sher (UC Davis, Biological and Agricultural Engineering) and Dr. Barry Wilson (UC Davis, Environmental Toxicology). Current research focuses on BMPs for mitigating pesticide runoff into the Feather River watershed and is being conducted with CURES (Committee for Urban and Rural Environmental Stewardship), the Sutter County Resource Conservation District, and Dr. Michael Johnson (UC Davis, John Muir Institute of the Environment).
New pest introductions continue to become major problems for California pest managers. These invaders disrupt current integrated pest management systems, and often cause severe economic losses. Among those recent pest invasions being studied in the Zalom lab include:
Olive Fruit Fly:
Greenhouse Whitefly on Strawberries
The Zalom lab has joined with Michigan State University scientists Drs. Karim Maredia, Doug Landis, George Bird and Walter Pett on a USAID Collaborative Research Support Project for IPM in Central Asia. The work is being conducted tn collaboration with ICARDA entomologist Dr. Mustafa Bohssini and the ICARDA office in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The specific focus for the Zalom lab's contribution to this work is enhancing the capacity and expanding the product lines of the extensive network of biolaboratories in these countries. Since the mid 1970's, emphasis for insect control has been on integrated pest management, with augmentative releases of Trichogramma spp. and Habrobracon parasitoids, and Chrysoperla carnea, the green lacewing, reared in these biolaboratories being the major approach. It is estimated that releases of these 3 natural enemies occurs on about 12 million hectares in Uzbekistan alone. An IPM Stakeholder Forum held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan identified improved efficiency of entomophage production, expanded product lines to include additional entomophages targeting different species than the pest targets of the three species currently being produced, and expansion of crop usage to be priority areas of research. Initial work is focusing on production and release of predatory mites.