The research on plant protection aspects was started in 1970’s in the division of Entomology and Nematology, headed by Late Dr. V.G. Prasad. The division laid foundation for biocontrol work, which started at IIHR as an AICR Project in 1977 and and latler was made independent as Project Directorate f Biological Control (presently, National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, NBAII). The pesticide residues work in which safe waiting periods were fixed for many pesticides for both fruits and vegetables was also initiated then. From its inception, the Division has been the leader in IPM of fruits and vegetables. Work on pest management of ornamental and medicinal crops was initiated in 1980.
- To carry out basic and strategic research for the management of pests of Horticultural crops (vegetables, fruits, ornamental, medicinal and aromatic crops).
- To Develop Integrated Pest Management packages and Integrated Nematode Management packages by emphasizing ecofriendly pest management.
- To conduct teaching and training programmes for development of human resources in pest management.
- To develop innovative products and commercialize the same through ITMU and public and private partnership (PPP).
Thrust areas (12th FYP)
- Semiochemical based pest management in horticultural crops.
- Development of commercially viable formulations of biopesticides and botanicals for insect and nematode pests.
- Management of borer pests in Horticultural crops.
- Insect vector-Virus interaction studies
- Molecular systematics and basic physiological studies of sucking pests in Horticultural crops
- Insecticide Resistance Management
- Pest Management under protected conditions.
- Studies on effect of climate change on horticultural crop pests
The division has six different laboratories focusing on different aspects of horticultural crop pest management including nematodes in major fruits, vegetables, ornamental, medicinal and aromatic crops. The division has been conducting several research projects sponsored by ICAR and other central government departments, apart from internationally funded projects. They include ICAR ad-hoc, AICRP’s, NATP, DBT, DST, NABARD, APEDA sponsored projects etc. This division was also involved in the SAVERNET phase I and II in collaboration with AVRDC, Taiwan; USDA funded project on IPM in vegetable crops; PL-480 project on location of source of resistance to fruit fly in cucurbits and an international India-UK (DFID)-Fruit fly project.
A scientific society entitled “Association for Advancement for Pest Management of Horticultural Ecosystems” (AAPMHE) was started in July, 1994 with an aim to promote the cause of Plant Protection in Horticulture. AAPMHE has been publishing a journal entitled “Pest Management in Horticultural Ecosystems” bi-annually.
The division has come out with several technologies for the management of insect and nematode pests on various horticultural crops, some of them are listed below.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in cabbage
- IPM in Tomato
- IPM of cucurbit fruit fly
- IPM of mango fruit fly
- IPM of grape thrips
- IPM of sapota seed borer
- IPM of stone weevil in mango
- Biocontrol technology for the management of mealy bugs on fruit crops
- Biological control of exotic spiraling whitefly on horticultural crops
- Isolation and use of Metarhizium anisopliae against mango hoppers.
- Microbial control of lepidopterous pests of cabbage and tomato fruit borer.
- Development and use of botanicals (neem and pongamia soaps) for the management of vegetable crop pests
- Pest management in capsicum and tomato under polyhouse conditions.
- Integrated Pest Management in ornamental crops (rose, gerbera, chrysanthemum and jasmine).
- Development of organic modules for the management of pests of rose and gerbera under Polyhouse
- Use of biopesticides for the management of nematodes in fruits, vegetables and ornamental crops.
- Management of vertebrate pests (Grapes)
- Methyl eugenol pheromone traps for mango fruit fly.
- Cuelure pheromone traps for cucurbit fruit fly
- Sealer cum Healer for the management of stem borers
- Hot water treatment for fruit fly management
- Neem soap and Pongamia soap for insect pest management in vegetables
- Trichoderma viride – 1.5% W.P for nematode management
- Trichoderma harzianum – 1% W.P, Paecilomyces lilacinus – 1% W.P etc. for some fungal and nematode disease management
Dr. M S Rao
Principal Scientist & I/c Head
Division of Entomology & Nematology
IIHR, Hessaraghatta Lake Post
Bangalore – 560 089.