References of "Francis, Frédéric"
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See detailWheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-based intercropping systems for biological pest control: a review
Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg; Hatt, Séverin ULg; Xu, Qinxuan et al

in Pest Management Science (in press)

BACKGROUND: Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most cultivated crops in temperate climates. As its pests are mainly controlled with insecticides which are harmful to the environment and human ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most cultivated crops in temperate climates. As its pests are mainly controlled with insecticides which are harmful to the environment and human health, alternative practices such as intercropping have been studied for their potential to promote biological control. Based on the published literature, this study aimed to review the effect of wheat-based intercropping systems on insect pests and their natural enemies. RESULTS: Fifty original research papers were obtained from a systematic search of the peer-reviewed literature. Results from a vote-counting analysis indicated that, in the majority of studies, pest abundance was significantly reduced in intercropping systems compared with pure stands. However, the occurrence of their natural enemies as well as predation and parasitism rates were not significantly increased. The country where the studies took place, the type of intercropping, and the crop that was studied in the association had significant effects on these results. CONCLUSION: These findings show that intercropping is a viable practice to decrease insecticide use in wheat production systems. Nevertheless, other practices could be combined with intercropping to favour natural enemies and enhance pest control. [less ▲]

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See detailPros and cons of flowers strips for farmers. A review
Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Hatt, Séverin ULg; Paul, Aman ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment (in press), 20(Special issue 1),

Description of the subject. To counteract environmental problems due to agricultural intensification, European farmers can apply agri-environmental schemes in their fields. Flower strips are one example ... [more ▼]

Description of the subject. To counteract environmental problems due to agricultural intensification, European farmers can apply agri-environmental schemes in their fields. Flower strips are one example of these schemes, with the aim of supporting biodiversity, leading to an increase in “useful” species groups such as pollinators for crop pollination and natural enemies for pest control. However, to our knowledge, a complete appraisal of the pros and cons of flower strips, from a farmer’s point of view, does not yet exist. It is proposed that better and more complete information could increase the adoption and implementation of such agri-environmental schemes. Objectives. This study aims 1) to assess the pros and cons of flower strips, from a farmer’s point of view, and 2) to highlight the knowledge gaps that exist in the scientific literature, for the different types of pros and cons. Method. We listed the different components of the appraisal of pros and cons and conducted a systematic screening of the scientific literature on flower strips and these components. Results. The largest part of the 31 selected studies was concerning agronomical and ecological processes, such as pollination and animal pest control. Most of them indicated positive effects of flower strips. For many components of the appraisal, mostly economic and social ones, few or no studies were found. Conclusions. While a positive balance of pros and cons, from a farmer’s point of view, came from our literature screening, large research gaps still remain and more research is required, especially in the economic and social components of the evaluation. [less ▲]

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See detailGrasshoppers as a food source? A review
Paul, Aman ULg; Frederich, Michel ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment (in press), 20(AgricultureIsLife),

Description of the subject. Current trends suggest an increasing future demand for conventional meats, which indicates a strong need to shift this dependency to other alternative protein sources such as ... [more ▼]

Description of the subject. Current trends suggest an increasing future demand for conventional meats, which indicates a strong need to shift this dependency to other alternative protein sources such as insects. Literature. From a nutritional point of view, of all the insects consumed globally, grasshoppers are particularly important as a human food. Data from the literature regarding the nutrient composition, amino acid profile, fatty acid profile, mineral composition and vitamin content of grasshoppers as reviewed in this paper, suggest that a number of grasshopper species are a good source of nutrients. It also highlights some of the health related aspects that might arise from the consumption of grasshoppers, mostly linked to agricultural practices and the allergic response of sensitive individuals. The paper also summarizes some religious, social and economic factors that are associated with grasshopper consumption. Conclusions. The success of introducing grasshoppers as a novel food in western countries depends on changes in consumer attitudes. It would be interesting to develop food products derived from grasshoppers in a form acceptable to consumers. Furthermore, it is important to explore the food potential of some grasshopper species native to western countries and to develop their rearing methodologies to enhance availability. [less ▲]

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See detailShort-term effects of tillage practices and crop residue exportation on earthworm communities and soil physico-chemical properties in silt loam arable soil (Belgium)
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Alabi, Taofic ULg et al

in Soil & Tillage Research (in press)

Earthworms are known to play integral roles in soils, and are often referred to as vital soil and ecosystem engineers. They have the ability to influence a wide range of chemical, physical, and biological ... [more ▼]

Earthworms are known to play integral roles in soils, and are often referred to as vital soil and ecosystem engineers. They have the ability to influence a wide range of chemical, physical, and biological properties of soil environment. In the present study, earthworm and soil samples were collected from wheat cultivated fields in Gembloux, Belgium under four agricultural practices: (1) conventional tillage with crop residues incorporated into the soil (CT/IN); (2) conventional tillage with crop residues exported from the field (CT/OUT); (3) reduced tillage with crop residues incorporated into the soil (RT/IN); and (4) reduced tillage with crop residues exported from the field (RT/OUT). The different agricultural practices were applied on luvisol soil for four consecutive years prior to the initiation of the current study. The purpose of this study was to research the influence of agricultural practices on earthworms with considering species and their interactions with soil properties. Results indicated that agricultural practices affected soil properties and earthworm communities. For each depth, measures of soil physico-chemical properties showed significant differences among treatments. The penetration resistance (PR) measured to a depth of 50 cm increased with increasing soil depth in all treatments. PR was significantly higher in RT compared with CT. Soil moisture was measured before PR determination. Soil samples showed higher P and K concentrations in 0 – 10 cm depth compared with other depths. The main reason for the large K and P accumulation near the soil surface is the incorporation of crop residues. Significant differences were not detected between residue incorporation depth treatments, where results showed mean earthworm abundance was respectively 182 and 180 individuals m-2 in CT and RT. Mean earthworm biomass was similarly not significantly different between CT and RT, where results were respectively 48.5 and 57.3 g.m-2. However, a significant difference was observed between IN and OUT treatments, suggesting the exportation of crop residues will limit earthworm abundance and biomass, and will mask the effect of tillage. The endogeic species Apporectodea caliginosa strongly dominated the earthworm community (64%), whereas epigeic and anecic species remained < 3% and 5% of all earthworms. Findings indicate that endogeic and epi-anecic groups appears to be highly affected by tillage practice and the exportation of crop residues. Consequently, it seems that the effect of residue exportation was stronger than tillage effect. In compacted soils, L. terrestris, L. castaneus and A. caliginosa species showed an increased abundance. The obtained results were attributable to earthworm activity and crop residues, suggesting earthworms contributed to nutrient dynamics and soil structure, particularly at increased soil depths. Overall, the results emphasise the influence of crop residues exportation on earthworm community and also, the important influence of earthworm activity on soil physico-chemical properties change, processes which are closely linked. [less ▲]

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See detailBACTERIA MAY CONTRIBUTE TO DISTANT SPECIES RECOGNITION IN ANT-APHID MUTUALISTIC RELATIONSHIPS
Fischer, Christophe ULg; Detrain, Claire; Thonart, Philippe ULg et al

in Insect Science (in press)

Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids ... [more ▼]

Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids and carbohydrate-rich honeydew for the ants. Questions remained, however, as to the volatile semiochemical factor influencing this relationship. A recent study highlighted the role of bacterial honeydew volatile compounds in ant attraction. Here, ant’s ability to distantly discriminate two aphid species was investigated based on bacterial honeydew semiochemicals emissions using a two-way olfactometer. Both the mutualistic black bean aphid (Aphis fabae L.) and the non-myrmecophilous pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris) were found to be attractive for the black garden ant (Lasius niger L.). The level of attraction was similar in both assays (control versus one of the aphid species). However, when given a choice between these two aphid species, ants showed a significant preference for Aphis fabae. Honeydew volatiles, mostly from bacterial origins, are known to be a key element in ant attraction. Using the same olfactometry protocol, the relative attractiveness of volatiles emitted by honeydews collected from each aphid species and by bacteria isolated from each honeydew was in investigated. Again, ants significantly preferred volatiles released by Aphis fabae honeydew and bacteria. This information suggests that microbial honeydew volatiles enable ants to distantly discriminate aphid species. These results emphasize the importance of investigating the presence and potential effects of microbes in insect symbioses. [less ▲]

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See detailAbility of Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) to develop on alternative host plant species
Bawin, Thomas ULg; Dujeu, David; De Backer, Lara ULg et al

in Canadian Entomologist (2016), 148(4), 434-442

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a widespread devastating pest reported to develop on economically important solanaceous crops. The characterization of its host ... [more ▼]

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a widespread devastating pest reported to develop on economically important solanaceous crops. The characterization of its host range could help to understand and prevent the dispersion behavior of the insect in the environment. In this study, the ability of T. absoluta to develop on 12 cultivated or non-cultivated plants including Solanaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Convolvulaceae, Fabaceae and Malvaceae species under laboratory conditions was assessed. For each plant species, we monitored the development times of immature stages, survival, sex ratios and adult fecundity rates. All the 6 tested non-solanaceous plants, including Chenopodium, Convolvulus and Malva species, were not able to sustain (i.e. allow growth and development) T. absoluta larvae. Among Solanaceae, Solanum species were the most suitable host plants for the pest, but others could be opportunistically colonized with fewer incidences. T. absoluta appears to be strongly related to solanaceous plants which would predominantly support self-sustaining field populations. Preventing crop infestation by removing potential host plants in the immediate field vicinity and culture rotations with non-solanaceous crops is of primary importance. [less ▲]

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See detailBiofilm fermentation for the production of insect pathogenic fungi
Bawin, Thomas ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg; Delvigne, Frank ULg

Poster (2016, July 27)

Currently, integrated pest management that aims to reduce the use of synthetic insecticides by considering all appropriate alternative methods, is promoted. In that context, insect pathogenic fungi could ... [more ▼]

Currently, integrated pest management that aims to reduce the use of synthetic insecticides by considering all appropriate alternative methods, is promoted. In that context, insect pathogenic fungi could be developed as biopesticides in two ways: spores but also metabolites that are recognized as virulence factors. Targeting adequate fermentation method is an important requirement to obtain fungal products (i.e. spores, enzymes and metabolites) of biotechnological interest. The 'Microbial Processes and Interactions' laboratory has developed an innovative fermentation technology (referred to as ‘biofilm fermentation’) involving the growth of fungal biomass on inert supports that are immersed in a liquid nutrient medium. Confining fungal biomass on immersed inert structures provides a hybrid production system aiming to keep a solid-state physiology for sporulation and secretion of metabolites while controlling fermentation parameters. This research project proposes to transfer this technology to culture insect pathogenic fungi, such as Metarhizium anisopliae, for the production of spores and insecticidal metabolites. Development stages include the qualitative and quantitative characterization of its impact on insecticidal products as well as scale-up to industrial level. [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of entomopathogenic fungi on biology and behaviour of the invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Hemiptera, Pentatomidae)
Fingu Mabola, Junior Corneille ULg; Serteyn, Laurent ULg; Bawin, Thomas ULg et al

Poster (2016, July 25)

Halyomorpha halys St˚al (Hemiptera, Pentatomidae) is an invasive stink bug coming from Eastern Asia. Besides causing important yields losses in orchards, crop and vegetable fields, it overwinters inside ... [more ▼]

Halyomorpha halys St˚al (Hemiptera, Pentatomidae) is an invasive stink bug coming from Eastern Asia. Besides causing important yields losses in orchards, crop and vegetable fields, it overwinters inside houses as agglomerates of dozens. In Europe, this Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) was accidentally introduced in Switzerland in 2007 and has been later observed in surrounding countries (France, Italy, Germany). Based on the current US situation, we can reasonably fear that BMSB will have colonized most of Europe countries in less than a decade. If we already discern a few fungus strains that are efficient against BMSB, very little is known about their actual impact on the insect itself. So we investigated the in- fluence of a fungal infection on insect development parameters and behaviour. Olfactometry was settled to investigate the dispersion and aggregation trends, while electropenetography was used to assess the feeding behaviour. Our results will be discussed to present changes according to healthy/fungus-infected status, in relation to potential biological control for that pest. [less ▲]

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See detailLa biodiversité entomologique comme source d’aliments à Kinshasa (République démocratique du Congo)
Nsevolo, Papy; Alabi, Taofic ULg; Caparros Megido, Rudy ULg et al

in Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (2016)

L’exploitation des produits forestiers non ligneux dont notamment les insectes comestibles jouent un rôle important dans les habitudes alimentaires et économies locales des populations autochtones du ... [more ▼]

L’exploitation des produits forestiers non ligneux dont notamment les insectes comestibles jouent un rôle important dans les habitudes alimentaires et économies locales des populations autochtones du bassin du Congo. Bien que la consommation d’insectes en République Démocratique du Congo soit une pratique ancienne, l’inventaire et l’identification taxonomique des espèces consommées ainsi que la caractérisation de la filière « entomophagie » sont encore mal maitrisés. Toutefois, nos études axées sur la ville de Kinshasa ont permis d’inventorier 14 espèces comestibles régulièrement consommées. Elles appartiennent à l’ordre des Lépidoptères (46,7%), des Isoptères (18,6%), des Orthoptères (17,6%), des Coléoptères (9,7%) et des Hyménoptères (3,7%). De façon générale, 80% de la population de Kinshasa consomment au minimum une espèce d’insecte 5 jours par mois avec des quantités variant de 66,4 à 154 g d’insectes par personne par jour en fonction des différents ordres. Les acteurs de la filière sont majoritairement des femmes. Les revenus générés par l’activité concourent au bien-être des ménages, à la réduction de la pauvreté et de l’insécurité alimentaire dans de la capitale Kinshasa. [less ▲]

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See detailThe scent of love: how important are semiochemicals in the sexual behavior of lady beetles?
Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg; Verheggen, François ULg

in Journal of Pest Science (2016), 89(2), 347-358

Chemical signals are involved in the courtship behavior of many invertebrate and vertebrate species. Lady beetles are no exception to this rule; a significant number of published reports highlight the ... [more ▼]

Chemical signals are involved in the courtship behavior of many invertebrate and vertebrate species. Lady beetles are no exception to this rule; a significant number of published reports highlight the role of cuticular chemicals involved in the reproduction of lady beetles, including gender recognition. Recent data have also demonstrated the presence of a volatile female sex pheromone that facilitates male attraction in some species. Here, we present a synthetic overview of the current knowledge about the sexual behavior of lady beetles and associated chemicals for which the function and identification have been provided. Because lady beetles are often reared as biological control agents, the chemical cues involved in their sexual behavior could be used as components in integrated management approaches against soft-bodied hemipterans. In conclusion, this review provides new perspectives and potential developments for sustainable insect management mainly based on the semiochemicals involved in the sexual behavior of lady beetles. A better understanding of these chemical signals would help maximize their presence in areas where their predatory behavior is requested, as a result of the application of formulations inducing behavioral manipulation. [less ▲]

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See detailCan tropical basil be integrated in vegetable crop pest management?
Yarou, Boni Barthélémy ULg; Verheggen, François ULg; Heuskin, Stéphanie ULg et al

Poster (2016, May 17)

To address human and environmental health issues related to the use of synthetic pesticides, it is important to explore other ecological pest management approaches. Within this context, a study was ... [more ▼]

To address human and environmental health issues related to the use of synthetic pesticides, it is important to explore other ecological pest management approaches. Within this context, a study was conducted to evaluate the toxic and repellent effect of Ocimum gratissimum L. (Lamiaceae) on Myzus persicae S. (Aphididae). The toxicity of O. gratissimum essential oil (EO) was evaluated on M. persicae comparing 3 concentrations (0.001%; 0.01% and 0.1%) to a control (15% sucrose). Mortality rate and fecundity were assessed for each concentration. The observations were made daily, for 4 days, on 12 replicates per treatment. To test the repellent effect of O. gratissimum plants, 2 treatments were compared: a group of 8 Amaranthus cruentus L. (Amaranthaceae) plants with 1 plant of O. gratissimum in the middle and a group of 9 A. cruentus plants (control). The distribution of aphids was analyzed 12 days after the middle plant infestation (20 aphids per plant) for each treatment (6 replicates per treatment). O. gratissimum EO was found toxic from a concentration of 0.01%, with a mortality rate of 34% versus 12% for the control ; The fecundity felt from 30 larvae after 4 days (control) to 15 larvae for the 3 doses of the EO. The analysis with the generalized linear mixed model with Poisson error distribution followed by Turkey test (5 %) showed that EO is significantly more toxic than the control, both for mortality and fecundity (p <0.001). In association test, the population of M. persicae (15 aphids per plant) was significantly (p<0,001) lower when A. cruentus plants was associated with O. gratissimum plant than with the control (22 aphids per plant). Furthermore, the population increases gradually as one moves away from the infestation point in association test whereas it decreases in the control. With regards to these results, it appears that O. gratissimum has biocide effects on M. persicae. This plant may be used in an integrated pest management strategy in the production of vegetable to reduce the use of synthetic pesticides and avoid chemicals residues. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a semiochemical-based control method against the walnut husk fly
Sarles, Landry ULg; Heuskin, Stéphanie ULg; Verheaghe, Agnès et al

Conference (2016, May 17)

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See detailImpact of aphid alarm pheromone release on virus transmission efficiency: when pest control strategy could induce higher virus dispersion
Lin, Fang-Jing; Bosquée, Emilie ULg; Liu, Ying-Jie et al

in Journal of Virological Methods (2016)

Aphids cause serious damages to crops not only by tacking sap but also by transmitting numerous viruses. To develop biological control, the aphid alarm pheromone, namely E-β-farnesene (EβF), has been ... [more ▼]

Aphids cause serious damages to crops not only by tacking sap but also by transmitting numerous viruses. To develop biological control, the aphid alarm pheromone, namely E-β-farnesene (EβF), has been demonstrated to be efficient to repel aphids and as attract beneficials, making it a potential tool to control aphid pests. Considering aphids also as virus vectors, changes of their behaviour could also interfere with the virus acquisition and transmission process. Here, a combination of two aphid species and two potato virus models were selected to test the influence of EβF release on aphid and virus dispersion under laboratory conditions. EβF release was found to significantly decrease the population of M. persicae and M. euphorbiae around the infochemical releaser but simultaneously also increasing the dispersal of Potato Virus Y (PVY). At the opposite, no significant difference for Potato Leaf Roll Virus (PLRV) transmission efficiency was observed with similar aphid alarm pheromone releases for none of the aphid species. These results provide some support to carefully consider infochemical releasers not only for push – pull strategy and pest control but also to include viral disease in a the plant protection to aphids as they are also efficient virus vectors. Impact of aphid kinds and transmission mechanisms will be discussed according to the large variation found between persistent and non persistent potato viruses and interactions with aphids and related infochemicals. [less ▲]

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See detailCrop residue management in arable cropping systems under temperate climate. Part 1: Soil biological and chemical (phosphorus and nitrogen) properties. A review
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Degrune, Florine ULg; Barbieux, Sophie ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment (2016)

Interacting soil organisms support biological processes that participate in soil functions, organic matter decomposition, and nutrient cycling. Earthworms and microorganisms play a range of beneficial ... [more ▼]

Interacting soil organisms support biological processes that participate in soil functions, organic matter decomposition, and nutrient cycling. Earthworms and microorganisms play a range of beneficial roles in agricultural systems, including increased organic matter mineralization, nutrient cycling, and soil structure stabilization. The following aspects of crop residue management effects are examined in this paper: (i) earthworm composition and structure; (ii) soil microbial communities; and (iii) phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) element availability and distribution in the soil profile. Conventional tillage (ploughing) is often reported to generate decreased soil organism abundance and diversity, primarily earthworms and microorganisms, as well as a uniform distribution of the nutrients P and N within the ploughed soil horizon. Soil residue incorporation of mineral particles can maintain P and N levels, however returning soil also increases aeration and the activation of microbial activity. Hence, comparisons of tillage effects on soil biological functioning and nutrient cycling remain unclear. This review highlights the challenges in establishing definitive evidence regarding the effects of crop residue management on soil organisms and nutrient dynamics. The studies examined reported variability in soil and climate, and the complexity of soil processes contributed to the absence of clear findings. Further research is required under temperate climate conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of wheat-based intercropping systems on pests and natural enemies: a review with a special focus on China
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg; Xu, Qinxuan et al

Conference (2016, April 16)

Intercropping is a farming practice consisting of cultivating at least two plant species simultaneously in the same field, but without necessarily sowing and/or harvesting them at the same time. By ... [more ▼]

Intercropping is a farming practice consisting of cultivating at least two plant species simultaneously in the same field, but without necessarily sowing and/or harvesting them at the same time. By increasing plant diversity at the field scale, intercropping may be an efficient method to control insect pests and support natural enemies on the associated crops. We performed a systematic research of the peer-reviewed literature which studied the effect of intercropping systems on pests and natural enemies, compared to pure stands. The research was restricted to wheat-based systems, as it is an important crop worldwide, and the main one in Northern China. A total of fifty research papers were obtained from the literature search. Results from a vote-counting analysis, using binomial tests, indicated that pest abundance was significantly reduced in intercropping systems compared with pure stands, but their natural enemies were not particularly favoured (i.e., predators and parasitoids). Among these papers, 23 were studies from China. There, wheat was associated with cotton in relay-intercropping, as well as alfalfa, chili peppers, fava bean, garlic, mung bean, oilseed rape and pea in strip-cropping. Aphids were systematically reduced and natural enemies (i.e., predators and parasitoids) significantly favoured in intercropping systems compared to pure stands. This study shows that intercropping is a viable practice to biologically control pests, and potentially support natural enemies, especially in China. Therefore it can be seen as a viable method to reduce insecticide use in wheat production systems. [less ▲]

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See detailInventaire et mise en collection d’espèces de pucerons et de parasitoïdes collectés en grandes cultures, et premier enregistrement de Metopolophium frisicum (Hille Ris Lambers 1947) et Acyrthosiphon primulae (Theobald 1913) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) en Belgique
Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg; Hatt, Séverin ULg; Starý, Petr et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2016), 69

The purpose of this study was to identify aphid and parasitoid species that were collected in wheat and pea crops situated in Gembloux (Belgium), and conserve them into collections. To do so, yellow traps ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this study was to identify aphid and parasitoid species that were collected in wheat and pea crops situated in Gembloux (Belgium), and conserve them into collections. To do so, yellow traps (von Moericke) were used during 2012, 2013 and 2014 growing seasons. Fifty-two aphid species were identified and conserved in the entomological Conservatory of Gembloux. Among them, Metopolophium frisicum (Hille Ris Lambers 1947) and Acyrthosiphon primulae (Theobald 1913) were officially referenced for the first time in Belgium. Moreover, a collection composed by 16 parasitoid species was created. Their interest for biological control, as well as the methods that are studied in the laboratory of functional and evolutionary Entomology from Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège) to promote their presence in crops are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailHistopathological effects of Aspergillus clavatus (Ascomycota: Trichocomaceae) on larvae of the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae)
Bawin, Thomas ULg; Seye, Fawrou; Boukraa, Slimane ULg et al

in Fungal Biology (2016), 120(4), 489-499

Aspergillus clavatus (Ascomycota: Trichocomaceae) was previously found to be an opportunistic pathogen of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). In the present study, the mechanism leading to its insecticidal ... [more ▼]

Aspergillus clavatus (Ascomycota: Trichocomaceae) was previously found to be an opportunistic pathogen of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). In the present study, the mechanism leading to its insecticidal activity was investigated regarding histological damages on Culex quinquefasciatus larvae exposed to A. clavatus spores. Multiple concentration assays using spore suspensions (0.5 x 10^8 to 2.5 x 10^8 spores/ml) revealed 17.0% to 74.3% corrected mortalities after 48 h exposure. Heat-deactivated spores induced a lower mortality compared to non-heated spores suggesting that insecticidal effects are actively exerted. Spore-treated and untreated larvae were prepared for light microscopy as well as for scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Spores failed to adhere to the external body surface (except the mouth parts) of these aquatic immature stages but progressively filled the digestive tract where their metabolism seemed to activate. In parallel, the internal tissues of the larvae, i.e. the midgut wall, the skeletal muscles, and the cuticle-secreting epidermis, were progressively destroyed between 8 and 24 h of exposure. These observations suggest that toxins secreted by active germinating spores of A. clavatus in the digestive tract altered the larval tissues, leading to their necrosis and causing larval death. Fungal proliferation and sporulation then occurred during a saprophytic phase. A. clavatus enzymes or toxins responsible for these pathogenic effects need to be identified in further studies before any use of this fungus in mosquito control. [less ▲]

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See detailChecklist of Aphidiinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Aphelinus (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) species from Belgium with respectively four and three new records
Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg; Libert, Pierre-Nicolas; Starý, Petr et al

in Zootaxa (2016), 4092(4)

Aphid parasitoids have good potential for crop protection. However, they have been poorly studied in Belgium, especially in terms of species diversity. Therefore, the aim of this work was to establish the ... [more ▼]

Aphid parasitoids have good potential for crop protection. However, they have been poorly studied in Belgium, especially in terms of species diversity. Therefore, the aim of this work was to establish the first checklist for the country. To complete the list, aphid parasitoids were sampled in wheat and pea fields near Gembloux (Belgium), in 2013 and 2014. Among the identified species, Aphelinus asychis Walker, Aphelinus daucicola Kurdjumov, Aphelinus fusciscapus (Förster), Aphidius asteris Haliday, Aphidius eadyi Starý, Gonzalez & Hall, Praon barbatum Mackauer, and Trioxys auctus (Haliday) were recorded for the first time in Belgium. Thirty-two Aphidiinae and seven Aphelinus species were included in the checklist. It is hoped this study will stimulate further research, as species diversity is still low compared with neighbouring countries. [less ▲]

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