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Agronomía Costarricense

Print version ISSN 0377-9424


HERRERA, Ena Edith; SANCHEZ, Vera  and  BLANCO, Helga. Formulación de gránulos bases para la incorporación De ingredientes activos con efecto biológico sobre el hongo simbiótico cultivado por las hormigas forrajeras del género Atta1. Agron. Costarricense [online]. 2013, vol.37, n.2, pp.55-69. ISSN 0377-9424.

Granular base formulation for the incorporation of biologically-effecting active ingredients for the control of simbiotic fungus grown by leaf cutting ants, Atta spp. Leaf cutting ants (Atta spp.) can destroy complete plantations of economically important crops in Tropical and Subtropical America, by cutting plant tissues and transporting them to underground nests where they grow a fungus of the Basediomycota Phylum which is their main food resource. At present, no effective management strategy for this pest is available. Most of the products in the market are poorly effective, are residual in the environment and have a high price. The present investigation evaluated different ingredients used in granular preparation that have been reported as carried away by ants, with potential of being incorporated as active ingredients against the leaf cutting ants’ symbiotic fungus. Granules with different combinations and concentrations of inert ingredients were prepared, using citrus pulp, alcoholic extracts of orange peel and seeds as attractants. In order to verify the compatibility of the base formulations with the active ingredients, Azadirachta indica (neem), Trichoderma spp., and yeasts were used in different concentrations. Granule characteristics were evaluated as indicators of viability and stability of formulates. Baits formulated with citrus pulp were capable of keeping a stable acidity, and also to conserve Trichoderma spp., and yeasts viability for a longer period than formulates containing alcoholic extract of orange peel used as an attractant. Also, granules with a citrus pulp base had a lower production cost. It was concluded that citrus pulp is an appropriate base for the incorporation of active ingredients with biologic effect against the symbiotic fungi and has potential as a base for commercial production.

Keywords : Atta spp; leaf cutting ants; granular formulations; biological control; symbiotic fungi.

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