Project properties

Title Literature study: Breeding for attraction of natural enemies
Group Plant Breeding, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 12-18
Supervisor(s) Lotte Caarls, Ben Vosman
Examiner(s) Lotte Caarls, Ben Vosman
Contact info lotte.caarls@wur.nl; ben.vosman@wur.nl
Begin date 2021/02/01
End date 2022/12/31
Description Many plants release herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) upon attack by a pest insect. These HIPVs can be used by natural enemies of the herbivores, both parasitoids and predators, as cues to locate their prey. The attraction of natural enemies is a promising strategy to help plants to combat insect attack. Use of natural enemies for biocontrol also fits well within our ambition to reduce use of pesticides. However, crop plants may have lost the ability to emit HIPVs, as these traits have been neglected in plant breeding. To be able to breed for an effective attraction of natural enemies, genetic variation for the emission of HIPVs has to be present in the plants species, that can be linked to attraction of parasitoids or predators of pests. In addition, to be able to employ such strategies successfully, natural enemies have to be present in areas where crops are growing.
In this project, you will make an inventory of the pest insects on cabbage and their (potential) natural enemies, by performing a literature study. You will explore databases to study where in the Netherlands these natural enemies are present. The literature study can potentially be complemented with short field studies to determine the presence of natural enemies in proximity to crops by catching them and releasing.
Used skills Literature study, data analysis, field work, determination insects
Requirements Breeding for resistance and quality (PBR-30306), ENT-50806 (Insect-Plant Interactions) or Biological Control of Insects (ENT-53806)