Use of zoophytophagous mirid bugs in horticultural crops: current challenges and future perspectives
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Cita bibliográficaPérez‐Hedo, M., Riahi, C., & Urbaneja, A. (2020). Use of zoophytophagous mirid bugs in horticultural crops: Current challenges and future perspectives. Pest Management Science, (wileyonlinelibrary.com), DOI 10.1002/ps.6043.
In recent years, the use of predatory mirid bugs (Hemiptera: Miridae) in horticultural crops has increased considerably. Mirid bugs are zoophytophagous predators, that is, they display omnivorous behavior and feed on both plants and arthropods. Mirid bugs feed effectively on a wide range of prey, such as whiteflies, lepidopteran eggs and mites. In addition, the phytophagous behavior of mirid bugs can activate defenses in the plants on which they feed. Despite the positive biological attributes, their use still presents some constraints. Their establishment and retention on the crop is not always easy and economic plant damage can be caused by some mirid species. In this review, the current strategies for using zoophytophagous mirid bugs in horticultural crops, mainly Nesidiocoris tenuis, Macrolophus pygmaeus and Dicyphus hesperus, are reviewed. We discuss six different approaches which, in our opinion, can optimize the efficacy of mirids as biocontrol agents and help expand their use into more areas worldwide. In this review we (i) highlight the large number of species and biotypes which are yet to be described and explore their applicability, (ii) present how it is possible to take advantage of the mirid‐induced plant defenses to improve pest management, (iii) argue that genetic selection of improved mirid strains is feasible, (iv) explore the use of companion plants and the use of alternative foods to improve the mirid bug management, and finally (vi) discuss strategies for the expansion of mirid bugs as biological control agents to horticultural crops other than just tomatoes.