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Lecture 14

MICR 2420 Lecture 14: Lecture 7 (After Midterm)

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MICR 2420
Emma Allen- Vercoe

Lecture 7 Microbes in Biocontrol Biotechnical Applications Using microbes to control pests and in medicine What is Biocontrol: Definition: o A method of introducing an agent organism into a new ecosystem to naturally prey on and suppress target pest organisms Agent: o The newly introduced species predator Target: o The defined pest, whose population is suppressed by the agent Prey Biocontrol is a concept borrowed from nature We all recognize that nature creates a balance of predator and prey, which maintains an equilibrium balance Biocontrol is taking advantage of this regulatory relationship between population of predator and prey, or agent and target The benefits of biocontrol were recognized over a thousand years ago Marshall W. Johnson characterized biocontrol in 3 stages: Early on, use was haphazard not monitored or studied 3001200 o Ex 1: Ant nests sold as early as 3 century in China and 13 century in Yemen to suppress pest populations Moving forward, we see more deliberate thinking about the effects and predatoryprey relationships o `Ex 2: 1734 Mynah bird is introduced to Mauritus, an island off Madagascar, to control locust population o So, in the 1800s, it became more of a science Theoretical advances: Darwin notes examples of natural biological equilibrium Kollar suggests the concept of natural control o First scientist to suggest biocontrol as a strategy o Ex 3: 18681888 Australian cottony cushion scale insect is introduced to California and devastates crops Actually sent a mission to look for natural predators of the cotton scale and came up with the vedalia beetle So, in 1888 the Vedalia beetle is imported and pest population is suppressed within 1 year Modern era: decline in use bc we have noted the many unintended consequences of introducing new species AND we have pesticides and other direct measures to save crops But, with increased criticism of chemical pesticides, interest in more natural approaches like biocontrol have been revived
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