Location: 3645 E. Wier Ave.,
Phoenix, AZ 85040 Phone: (602)431-3230 Fax: (602) 431-3258 Contact: Richard Zink
The Phoenix Lab’s mission is to develop, adapt, and implement areawide control technologies for program pests. Current work includes developing control tools, methods, equipment, and support for pink bollworm (PBW), rangeland grasshopper/Mormon cricket complex, and light brown apple moth (LBAM). These control technologies include biocontrol, sterile insect technique, pheromones, new chemicals, ground and aerial delivery systems, and geographic information system applications. The lab’s scientists conduct extensive laboratory and field developmental and operational scale studies to test and validate materials, methods, and equipment.
The Phoenix Lab’s rangeland section works with Federal and State customers to provide technical assistance for the grasshopper and Mormon cricket control programs. This section also develops and implements solutions to program problems and continuously evaluates the technology and tools of the control program to maintain state-of-the-art status. The Pink Bollworm section supports the PBW eradication program by providing expertise on pheromone mating disruption, custom rearing and mass-rearing of insects, sterile insect release mechanisms, insect population monitoring, and insect behavior.
Conducted research on several domestic strains of the insect fungal pathogens Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveriabassiana in a continuing joint effort with ARS and Utah State University. These studies are in support of the development and registration of a domestic strain of Metarhizium that is suitable for deployment against domestic rangeland pests.
Applied for a permit to release and evaluate an exotic biopesticide in the western United States for Mormon cricket and grasshopper control. The permit will allow 10-acre applications of Australian Green Guard and African Green Muscle.
Conducted an initial evaluation of an aerial application of chlorantraniliprole (Coragen®) to determine a dose range for final evaluation and development for rangeland grasshopper control. This pesticide is a potential alternative to the traditional pesticides malathion and carbaryl.
Evaluated an adjuvant as a replacement for oil diluents in aerial application mixes of diflubenzuron to control rangeland grasshoppers. This could produce significant savings in terms of mixing and loading time, reduced diluent volumes, and aircraft load efficiency.
Further evaluated and demonstrated the utility of improved low volume and ultra-low volume ground application technology. This evolving technology is being used in several states.
Evaluated nine new solid bait combinations against the standard carbaryl baits using adult grasshoppers. Coragen®, Bifenthrin, and Indoxacarb will be evaluated on larger scale plots to determine effectiveness against a grasshopper field population.
Continued efforts to determine the lowest effective dose of Baythroid® XL against field populations of rangeland grasshoppers.
Compared 40-degree flat fan spray tips with standard tips used in rangeland grasshopper/Mormon cricket programs.
Started to inventory for the prevalence of naturally occurring pathogens in rangeland grasshopper populations by surveying untreated field-collected grasshopper cadavers.
Acquired, catalogued, and made available to researchers thousands of books, technical bulletins, circulars, university-published documents, pamphlets, Web sites, maps, and articles concerning PBW, grasshopper, and Mormon cricket.
Pink Bollworm Section
Modified a 34-millimeter twin screw extruder to make specialty diets for research and to back up the PBW rearing facility’s 80-millimeter extruder.
Eliminated the preservatives methyl paraben and polysorbate as well as the antibiotic chlortetracycline as potential secondary markers for mass-reared PBW.
Verified the genetically modified, chlortetracycline dependent strain OX3402CC as 100 percent unable to reproduce on cotton bolls as designed.
Completed evaluation on a sprayable formulation of PBW pheromone for mating disruption. The formulation has been applied by a commercial applicator and is ready for product registration.
Evaluated a genetically modified strain of PBW, OX-1138BB, that performed as well as APHIS rearing facility moths in a comparison of mating competence as indicated by male response to female calling.
Distributed the PBW bibliographic database to university and ARS scientists to enhance cooperative research efforts.