Samodzielny Zakład Entomolgii Stosowanej SGGW

Badania prowadzonie w 2015

CHORĄŻY A., KROPCZYŃSKA-LINKIEWICZ D. Environmental risk assessment of introduction an exotic predatory mite species, Amblydromalus limonicus in Poland.

During the last few centuries the number of exotic species introduced by mistake or deliberately has risen. However, because of increased evaluation and registration demands, there is now a trend to first study the indigenous natural enemies when a new exotic pest is introduced. Some alien species used as biological control agents have been reported to cause problems: for example, the Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis Pallas) or the woolly whitefly parasitoid (Cales noacki Howard).

The problem of introducing natural enemies focuses on exotic species that do not occur naturally in our fauna. Most often they are used in crops under cover. From January 2012 in a number of greenhouses in Poland, a new, non-native to Europe predatory mite species Amblydromalus limonicus (Garman & McGregor) is used.

Research conducted in Spain showed that A. limonicus can quickly spread to the relatively long distances and pose a threat to stable mite fauna. The aim of the study was to assess the environmental safety of  A. limonicus introduction in Poland. The results of the study will contribute to increasing awareness of the use of biological pesticides. At the same time will provide a knowledge base for formulating methodologies for analysis of environmental hazards of introduced beneficial organisms not naturally occurring in Polish. In Poland, the law does not regulate the use of macro-organisms in order to protect crops, thus in future results and the methodology of our environmental risk analysis could be used to formulate legal rules governing the registration of products containing living organisms used in crop protection.


CHORĄŻY A. Drosophila suzukii – a new pest of soft fruits in Poland.

Spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) is an invasive pest, present in Europe since 2008 and it was detected in Poland for the first time in 2014. Most of vinegar flies lay eggs in damaged, rotten or fermented fruit. The harmfulness D. suzukii results from the ability of females to cut the skin of healthy fruit and laying eggs to the interior of the fruit. Hatched larvae feed on the fruit pulp resulting its damage.

SWD is a polyphagous fly, attacking numerous fruit crops: stone fruit (cherries, sour cherries, apricots, peaches, plums) and berries (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, currant, grape). This pest is also developing in the fruits of wild plants, for example: blackberry, elderberry. Pest causes serious economic losses in North America and in many European countries. Education of Polish producers about the pest and trainings of its correct diagnosis is being done.


DRUCIAREK T., LEWANDOWSKI M, SKORACKA A., KOZAK M.Phyllocoptes (Acari: Eriophyoidea) from rose: one or two species?

The aim of the study was to compare Phyllocoptes resovius, recently described eriophyoid mite species found in greenhouse rose production in Poland, with Phyllocoptes adalius,a species frequently found on Rosa sp. in Palearctic region. The analysis of quantitative traits of P. resovius shows his strong similarity to P. adalius. Only the qualitative characteristics, such as microtubercles arrangement on opisthosomal annuli and prodorsal shield pattern differentiate both species. Although the analysis of mitochondrial (CO1) and nuclear (28S) DNA indicate large variability between species, observations of mixed population shows the possibility of interspecific hybridization. This was further analyzed in modified Munger cells under laboratory conditions.


HOŁDYŃSKA B., SZLENDAK E. Development of the flour mite Acarus siro L. (Acari: Acaridae)  reared on selected cereal products.

Development of the flour mite Acarus siro from the one-day egg to the adult stage, as well as the development time of the various developmental stages of mites reared on ten "eco" certified cereal products were evaluated. Furthermore, the study defined the growth of A. siro populations reared on each of the ten tested foods over one month.

 Among the tested foods there were hulled cereal caryopses of spelt, oat, rye, rice as well as spelt muesli, spelt bran, and spelt coffee and products enriched with spelt flour: spelt bread, spelt cookies and bread crumbs with spelt. Oats, spelt and rye caryopses as well as spelt bran and spelt muesli proved to be suitable diet for the development and survival of the A. siro, while spelt bread, cookies and coffee seemed to be unsuitable ones.

 The results indicate that the mites can thrive and develop on offer to them ten, mechanically shredded food products, and these, if they are infested by A. siro, lose the status of "healthy food”. The study indicate also that the foodstuffs processed to a small extent are better settled by the flour mite than those fully processed.


KAROLCZYK S., KIEŁKIEWICZ M., KOWALCZYK K., METERA A.,PRZYBYŁJ., GAJC-WOLSKA J.Laminarin as enhancer of greenhouse tomato plant fitness and protector against herbivorous pests.

Seaweed extracts promote plant growth potential and enhance plant tolerance against abiotic stresses and pathogenic organisms. Their potential against herbivorous pests still remains unexploited and little understood. Our study evaluates hypothesis that foliar application of aqueous solutions of  laminarin (polysaccharide extracted from brown seaweed, Laminaria digitata Huds.) may not only promote tomato plant fitness but also strengthen its tolerance against herbivorous pests. Tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum, Admiro F1) were cultivated in rockwool slabs fertigated with a solution of macro- and microelements using the drip irrigation system.  Experimental plants (n=48), starting from 6-leaf stage plantlets, were treated five times (at one-week intervals) with laminarin. At the same time, control plants (n=48) were treated with water. 

The results of the study show consistent enhanced of photosynthetic efficiency (measured as chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters [quantum efficiency of PSII (ΦPSII), maximum quantum efficiency of PSII photochemistry (Fv/Fm), performance index (PI)] and the concentrations of leaf pigments essential for photosynthesis [chlorophyll a, b; xanthophyll carotenoids] with exception of violaxanthin in laminarin-treated plants. However, the concentration of leaf phenolic compounds (chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, gallic acid, quercetin-3-O-rutinoside) in laminarin-treated and untreated plants varies depending on leaf position and number of treatments. The two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) density was similar on laminarin-treated and untreated plants. Our study provides evidence that laminarin may play an important role in modulating fitness of greenhouse tomato, however it seems to have very limited potential in mite management. Although, the increase of phenylpropanoids in laminarin-treated plants may translate into enhanced tolerance to other arthropod herbivores. 


KIEŁKIEWICZM., PALIJCZUKD., NOWAKOWSKA-BOGDAN E.,  CHAŁASA., ADAMIEC H., LUX S. Potential of Cleome spp. volatiles in management of the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch).                                          

Natural repellents or deterrents, derived from non-host plants of arthropod herbivores, have substantial, yet still unexploited potential for application in IPM. Recent trends, such as growing public demand for organic fresh produce and dwindling spectrum of the pesticides registered for fresh production systems, revived interest in non-chemical pest management. Especially, in the cases of notorious secondary pests, such as the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch), frequently triggered by prior pesticide applications.

The objective of the reported study was evaluation of the potential repellent effects of the volatiles emanating from leaves of Cleome spinosa and C. trachysperma against females of the two-spotted spider mite. The volatiles, freely emanating from leaves of the potted plants were adsorbed on Tenax (TENAX TA 60/80 mesh) loaded into steel tubes. The collection was done in a closed system with air circulation forced by a micro-pump. In addition, extracts from plants were prepared using supercritical CO2 extraction (SFT-110XW, Supercritical Fluids Technologies, Inc.).

Profiles of the collected volatiles were GC-compared (GC/FID; Clarus 680 coupled to Thermal Desorber TurboMatrix 350, PerkinElmer, USA) and GC/MS-analysed (Agilent  7890A, Agilent Technologies, coupled to  MSD and Thermal Desorber UNITY Series 2, Markes International). Supercritical CO2 extracts were GC/MS-analysed (Agilent 6890N/5975C, Agilent Technologies). The repellent/deterrent activity of the plants was evaluated using both ‘choice’ and non-choice’ bioassays.

Our results revealed that C. trachysperma volatiles acted as potent repellents/deterrents affecting local translocation and host choice of the tested female mites, and strong inhibitors of their oviposition. C. spinosa volatiles had similar, albeit much less pronounced activity. The volatiles emanating from leaves contained mainly monoterpenes  (β-terpinene, α-pinene, α-thujene, β-thujene), while the SFT extracts contained also alkanes (hexacosane, nonacosane) and fatty acids. The results indicate that intercropping of vegetables and ornamental plants, such as certain Cleome spp., may have potential in mite management.


KIEŁKIEWICZM., DWORAKA., NYKIELM., ZAGDAŃSKA B., MIAZEK A. Soil drought modulation of maize responses to spider mite attack - a unique effect of stresses overlapping.

In the field conditions, the crop plant usually experiences a broad range of environmental stresses taking place sequentially or simultaneously rather than individually. In the present study, the conventional maize cultivar (Bosman) has been infested by (1) arthropod herbivorous pest - the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch, Acari: Tetranychidae), (2) dehydrated by cessation of soil watering and (3) simultaneously treated by stresses occurring together at the same time to compare maize responses to each stress applied individually with those following  stresses overlapping. 

Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and Mass Spectrometric sequencing of proteins show that the short-term individual stress (mite feeding or soil drought for 6 days) triggers specific changes in the expression of mite-responsive proteins differing from those imposed by soil water deficit. However, combined application of  both stresses (also for 6 days) elicits a unique effect, distinct from the effects caused by any of the stressors applied individually. Generally, up- and down-regulation of leaf proteins functioning in primary metabolism took place suggesting primary metabolomic re-programming. Further studies are needed to assess whether the observed changes in maize proteome are effective towards mite and other pest performance. 


KOŁĄTAJ K., LEWANDOWSKI M. Mites infesting hogweeds (Heracleum sp.) as a potential natural enemies of invasive Sosnowsky’s hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi Manden)

This study is based on searching mites infesting Sosnowsky’s hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi Manden) which comes from Caucasus and common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium L.) which is native to central Europe. Sosnowsky’s hogweed which in 70’s of 20th century was imported to Poland and cultivated as a source for producing cattle feed is nowadays an invasive species and constitutes a serious threat both for biodiversity of different natural habitats and for people’s health. On both species of hogweeds mites were found and almost each plant was infested by mites. Mites from the family of Tetranychidae were observed the most numerously, but the specimens from other families, eg. Tydeidae or Tarsonemidae, also were found quite often. Unfortunately, none of mites observed on these plants shows significant influence on the population of Sosnowsky’s hogweed because of very low density of infestation.


KOŁĄTAJ K. Biological methods of pest control in greenhouse crops.

During last two decades crops provided in greenhouses became very popular in many countries in the world. Nowadays the requirements of consumers regarded to the quality of food products are much higher than in the past. From the beginning of 2014 there is an obligation of providing the integrated plant protection. It refers to the limit of using chemical pesticides and to the increase of applying alternative methods. Greenhouses and similar to them plastic tunnels are places of living of many different species of harmful insects, mites and nematodes. Some of these pests, for example aphids or whiteflies are able to transmit different types of plant viruses. Especially virus vectors constitute a real threat to the crops and it is very important to control them until they cause significant damage. Biological methods of pest control are based on applying preparations containing beneficial pest agents like phytoseiid mites, predatory insects, parasites, entomopathogenic nematodes or bacteria in order to reduce the level of populations of different pests. It brings satisfying results and has got wide perspectives in future.


KOTK., KARPIŃSKA B., KIEŁKIEWICZ M. Susceptibility of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants to the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch 1836, Acari: Prostigmata: Tetranychidae).

The two-spotted spider mite is one of the most damaging herbivorous pests. It feeds on a broad range of plant species including more than 100 botanical families. However, host plant’s susceptibility to this pest strongly differs. To deeper understand plant responses to mite, our study focus on Arabidopsis mutant’s molecular responses to the short term (24-48 hours) mite feeding. Protein phosphatase 2A is a major serine/threonine phosphatase that consists of a heterotrimer that includes a catalytic, a scaffold, and a regulatory subunit which can form a wide variety of heterotrimeric complexes with distinct substrate specificities. PP2A plays an important role in regulating many signalling pathways by its ability to phosphorylate proteins. Thus, the role of this enzyme in Arabidopsis responses to mite feeding was analysed.

The fecundity of mites was then studied in mutant lines defective in either the protein phosphatase PP2A regulatory subunit B'γ (gamma; pp2a-b'γ) or B'ζ (zeta; pp2a-b'ζ1-1 and pp2a-b'ζ 1-2) and in gamma zeta double mutants (pp2a-b'γζ) lacking both subunits. Based on female fecundity (egg number x female-1 x day-1) in ‘no-choice’ bioassay and leaf damage assessment, the susceptibility of Arabidopsis mutants and Columbia (Col-0) ecotype to mite were compared and established.  Genes expression (Cat2, APX1, VSP, AOC3, ERF1, PR1, Myb28, Myb29, WRKY33, CYP79B3) changes upon mite feeding were assessed (real-time PCR) to elucidate the contribution of plant signalling pathways in shaping the mutant’s molecular responses.

The data show that certain mutants are less susceptible than others to mite feeding activity which is further confirmed by estimation of the degree of damage by trypan blue staining. In conclusion, the composition and functional specificity for the individual regulatory B-subunits play a crucial role in plant defences against mites. Further studies are necessary to identify the PP2A target proteins involved in defences signalling pathway.


KOZŁOWSKI M. Behavioral patterns of female strawberry blossom weevils, Anthonomus rubi on is host plant.

       The study consisted on description and analysis of behavioral events associated with oviposition of female strawberry blossom weevils, Anthonomus rubi into its raspberry host plant. All the examined females deposited eggs into flower buds and incised the flower stalks, thus preventing sap circulation, that proved that petiole incision is an inseparable element of female oviposition behavior, as is oviposition object marking in other blossom weevils. The flow of activities in each female was largely schematic and repeatable, and comprised: entering petiole, entering bud, forming egg cavity, introduction of ovipositor, egg deposition, post-oviposition bud exploration, departure of bud, “4 steps walk” on petiole, petiole incision and departure from petiole. Ethogram of these activities was made, including mean time of each activity together with a flow-chart of a mean sequence. The attention was focused on the pattern of petiole incision as a factor eliminating raspberry buds. 


KOZŁOWSKI P., TOMCZYK A. The problem of bean seed maggot (Hylemyia florilega Zett.) in the green bean cultivation.

Two-year observations on the occurrence and damages caused by bean seed maggot (Hylemyia florilega) in the area of broad cultivation of green beans, in  Masovian region, were carried out. This pest was monitored by yellow sticky traps in May 2013 and 2014, at the time of seed sowing. Numbers of flies captured on experimental plots were in both seasons high and their maximums were observed in first half of May. In 2013 ten percent of plants were destroyed while in 2014 it was increased to twenty percent, majority in the early stages of development. It was connected with the broad cultivation of green beans in two successive growing seasons in this region.


LEGUTOWSKA H. The attractiveness of some ornamental annual plants for beneficial insect fauna.

          The study was made in a garden allotment area in Żoliborz, Warsaw. In 2015, we examined the attractiveness of the species of annual plants belonging to three different families: zinnia, Zinnia elegans (Asteraceae), fragrant mignonette, Reseda sp. (Resedaceae), borage, Borago officinalis (Boraginaceae) and nigella, Nigella sativa (Ranunculaceae) for beneficial insect fauna.

           Flowers of the examined plant species were differently attractive for different groups of pollinators. Solitary and honey bees were observed on all four species of plants, but - mignonette and borage were visited most frequently. Bumblebees most frequently were observed on borage as well as on zinnias, and the lowers of nigella were the least attractive to them. Hoverflies chose flowers of black cumin and zinnia the most, and were occasionally observed on the flowers of borage.


LEWANDOWSKI M. Eriophyoid mites (Acari: Eriophyoidea) occurring on coniferous plants in Poland.

Eriophyoidea superfamily consists of three families: Eriophyidae, Phytoptidae, and Diptilomiopidae. Currently, about 4,500 eriophyoid species have been described from a vast array of host plants, among which about 350 species have been reported in Poland. Each year, new genera and nearly 100 new species are described, but still a huge number of species remains undiscovered. Information about the diversity of the taxon is evidently scarce. Among the many herbivorous mites associated with Gymnospermae plants, eriophyoids (Acari: Eriophyoidea) show highest diversity. To date, almost 200 eriophyoid species from 36 genera have been found on these plants. Ninety percent of the mites have been recorded on plants of two families: Pinaceae (over 120 species) and Cupressaceae (over 50 species). Up to date, 33 eriophyoid mites species were described from both, ornamental and natural communities in Poland, and among them 24 species cause damage on their hosts and induct visible symptoms of feeding. Coniferous plants in Poland are inhabiting by eriophyoid mites belonging to two families: Eriophyidae (ten genera) and Phytoptidae (three genera). The most diverse genera were Trisetacus and Nalepella represented by ten and five species respectively. Among all coniferous-inhabiting eriophyoid mites, eight species are associated with firs (Abies), seven eriophyoid species infest pines (Pinus) and spruces (Picea), and five species inhabit junipers (Juniperus). The most often infested plant species by eriophyoid mites in Poland are the Scots pine (P. sylvestris) and the Norway spruce (P. abies). The first tree species is dominant coniferous plant in Poland and is characterized with high habitat range with approximately 59.1% of Polish forest area.


PUCHALSKA E. Native species of phytoseiidmites (Acari: Phytoseiidae) as a potential biocontrol agents against spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) inhabiting ornamental trees and shrubs.

Among the many phytophagous arthropods occurring on cultivated trees and shrubs spider mites (Tetranychidae) are considered key pests. The difficulties of these pests management result from rapidly developing resistance to many acaricides. Therefore searching for alternative methods of nursery plants protection against those pests, seems to be reasonable. One of the possibilities can be using of biological agents from the family Phytoseiidae. Releasing exotic natural enemies, especially in open-field cropping systems, may fail due to lack of environmental adaptation or insufficient synchronization of life cycles of the agent and target pest. In such a case using indigenous species of predators gives better results in pest control and also reduces potential risk of negative effects on non-target species and ecosystem in which the species function. Therefore in our investigation native species of phytoseiids were selected and assessed as potential bio-agents against spider mites. At laboratory conditions life-history experiments were carried out to determinate development time, reproductive and demographic parameters of particular predatory species fed with different preys or an alternative food. Some side-effect tests were performed as well.


RUPIEWICZ D., TOMCZYK A. The influence of probiotic EmFarma Plus on interaction between Tetranychus urticae Koch and glasshouse cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L.).

The studies were undertaken on cucumber plant cultivars Iwa and Orion infested by T. urticae. The aim of the studies was to check if the application of probiotic in cucumber cultivation  affects the interaction between plants and spider mites.

Experiments were conducted in glasshouse and laboratory conditions. The experimental sets were used as follows: control plants, plants cultivated on soil treated with probiotic and plants sprayed by probiotic.The development of T. urticae populations, female fecundities, injury levels, as well as contents of selected organic substances in the leaves of infested plants were studied.

It was found that the application of probiotic in cucumber cultivation can positively influence the plant condition and chemical composition of the leaves, but plants were more severely attacked by T. urticae. The probiotic application did not limit the yield losses of injured plants, possibly because of the increase in spider mite population, as compared to not treated plants.


SADY E., IGNATOWICZ S. Interpreting customer complaints: Heat treatment inhibits melanin formation in larvae of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner).

The manufacturers of food products try to interpret some customer complaints on final products that are contaminated by insect pests. Question thus arises – if this insect larva found in food has passed the processing, and was it treated by heat? To answer this question one should observe the post mortal processes that occur in insect body. Melanisation of insect body after death results from loss of control over chemical reactions leading to melanin formation. Insects employ phenoloxidase and dopachrome (decarboxylating) isomerase for melanin biosynthesis. It is suggested that heat treatment inhibits activity of these enzymes responsible for melanin formation, and thus reduces or eliminates melanisation of insect body after death. Therefore, fully-grown larvae of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae), were killed by heat (60 °C and 80 °C for 30 sec.), and observed for whole body melanisation. Control larvae rapidly melanised after freezing and thawing, whereas heat-killed larvae failed to show typical melanisation. Thus, lack of melanization could be an indicator of heat treatment of those insects that were found in the final food product. Sometimes people want to know where and when the contamination of final product occurred: at consumer house, in a shop, in distribution center, or in the factory that produces this product? From time to time, an entomologist is asked "Can you determine if this insect was cooked?”. If it was heat treated, then contamination occurred at the factory during a processing of raw materials.

SADY E., WIŚNIEWSKI B., IGNATOWICZ S. Interpreting customer complaints: Defective or poorly designed packaging material that enables penetration of product by larvae of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner).

Many customer complaints are on food products contaminated by insect pests. The problem arise from holes in the package, seals that did not seal properly, sealing of the packaging material with product parts, boxes that do not have an inner liner, and even packaging material that can be chewed into by insect pests. Also, from openings produced by manufacturers to remove the excess of air or to facilitate rice cooking. Food aroma/volatiles escaping from openings, defective sealing or damaged packaging material attracts pests for feeding. Recently emerged larva (L1) from its egg is an invasive stage of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner). These tiny L1 do not penetrate unbroken packaging, but efficiently locate small openings to infest packages. Invasive L1 could gain entry into the packaged products through minute holes and defective sealing of the packaging material. Manufacturers rethink their packaging design and try to improve their packaging by correcting of foil sealing process or by using alternatives.


UCZCIWEK A., TOMCZYK A. The influence of probiotic EmFarma Plus on the interaction between Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande and glasshouse cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L.).

The studies were conducted on cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus L.) cv. ‘Iwa’, infested by Frankiniella occidentalis. The aim of the study was to recognize the influence of effective microorganisms (EmFarma Plus) on population and harmfulness of F. occidentalis in glasshouse cucumber.

The experiments were conducted in glasshouse in 3 experimental sets as well as in laboratory conditions. The influence of probiotics on the development of F. occidentalis population, yield of injured plants and chemical composition of cucumber leaves were studied.

It was found that application of Em Farma Plus in cucumber cultivation had a positive effect on yield of treated plants. However after its application plants were more attacked by the pest. The application of probiotics increased the content of some organic compounds in the plants: phenols, proteins and carotenoids.