The biological control in protected crops is becoming important
trend in Japan since late 1990. In this article, integrated control
focusing on the biological control with insects, microbials and
nematodes is discussed.
Biological control, especially with insects, is more and more
being applied in western
Europe and in some area of north America since around late 1980.
Basically biological control in this article mainly covers such
plant protection method as in protected crops, i.e. in greenhouse
cultivation and not in open field crops.
I. Progress of Integrated Control in Japan
In 1995 the two natural enemies for greenhouse cultivation were
registered by MAFF in Japan.
They were Encarsia formasa, one of the most famous natural enemies
against whiteflies in horticulture and Phytoseiulus persimilis,
one of the most efficacious predatory mites attacking spider mites,
well known to applied entomologists.
This was the beginning of practical biological control in greenhouse
horticulture in Japan even though there were lots of research
work done in Japan and Asia before.
Actually these insects were found and utilized in Europe first
and north America since late 1970 with a small scale usage.
II. The reasons why Biological control is applied
There are several reasons why biological control has to be used
in recent horticulture/agriculture.
a. Many kinds of insects/fungi are less susceptible to chemical
b. Strong request from supermarket/consumer for less pesticide
residue in vegetables
c. Less chemical pesticides available due to registration hurdle
d. Development of new effective biocontrol agents
The tendency is more visible in developed countries such as U.S.A.
In Japan, biological control started in early 70s but ceased due
to economic reason.
Current biological control is based on the model succeeded in
north western Europe
since around 1980s.
The system is established by England/the Netherlands government
research entity with
several European Universities such as Wageningen University.
The concept is basically same with the University of California,
Riverside method which
is firstly proposed by Dr.Paul Debach.
In Japan, at first the system was employed from the protocol
compiled by English and Dutch researchers and natural enemy companirs.
One of authors of such protocol is Dr. J. van Lenteren of Wageningen
The basics are not much different from the original protocol.
But the weather/greenhouse/horticuture conditions are very much
different from those in
Followings are major differences between Japan and Europe conditions.
a. Higher temperature/humidity
b. Small scale greenhouses
c. Insects have to be registered by the Japanese law as biopesticides
d. Different cultivation period
e. Different cultivars
f. More chemicals available than in Europe
The introduction of biocontrol to different climatic/cultural
region should face above mentioned type problems.
The application method should be modified and improved to meet
Main alteration done in Japan are;
a. Usage of insect net and shadowing agent such as calcium carbonate
powder with glue. Net are less than 1mm square.
b. Group release program utilizing spray calendar system
c. More countries start to regulate natural enemies nowadays
d. Combination with chemical pesticides for cleaning purpose (lower
e. Some cultivars are more susceptible to insects/diseases. Taste
is most esteemed in Japan and cultivars change never occurred
in Japan due to plant protection reasons.
f. More chemicals available in Japan than in Europe means more
precise control was possible. Utilizing more Insect growth regulators,
short residual products, highly effective chemicals were scrutinized
for compatibility with each natural enemies by local agricultural
experiment stations, pesticide companies, and natural enemy companies.
Fortunately or unfortunately, in Japan, different from most of
the countries, Natural
enemies have to be registered as one of plant protection agents.
It was accepted as rather strange in 1990s, because only a few
countries are requiring
registration for insects.
There are more countries preparing for regulation/registration
of natural enemies such as Switzerland for quality sake.
Registration requirement of Microbial pesticides
6 efficacy data for vegetables are required.
6 data should be done over 2 years.
Generally following studies using rodents have to be submitted.
1. Acute oral toxicity /pathogenicity study
2. Acute dermal toxicity/ irritation study
3. Acute pulmonary toxicity /pathogenicity study
4. Acute intravenous toxicity /pathogenicity study
5. Eye irritation study
6. Skin sensitization study
Other studies required:
1. Toxicity study on freshwater fish
a. Toxicity study on freshwater invertebrates
b. Avian toxicology study
c. Study on non-target plants
5. Study on non-target insects
6. Study on honey bees
7. Study on silkworms
8. Study on soil microbes
9.Study on the behavior in the environment(soil)
IV. Registered natural enemies and microbials
Major registered products
a. Natural enemies : Insects/Mites
||Consecutive release needed
||Mummy forming parasite
||Outdoor crop applicable
a. Microbial Fungicides
All product except Botokiller developed in Japan.
| Product Name
|| Botrytis on vegetable
|| Dust application
|| Soft rot on veg/orchid
| Cell Nae Genki
|| Bacterial wilt
|| Induced resistance
| Momi Genki
|| Rice dumping-off
|| Bakanae, dumping-off
|| parasitism, antagonist
|| Anthracnose on stawberry
| Maruka light
|| Fusarium on Water melon
|| avirulent species
Biokeeper=Avirulent Erwinia carotovora
Cell Nae Genki=Pseudomonas fluorescent
Momi Genki=Pseudomonas spp.
Maruka light=Avirulent Fusarium oxysporium
a. Microbial Insecticides
| Product Name
|| nematode product
|| Thrips/Diamondback moth
|| fungal product
| Hamaki Tenteki
|| Tea leafroller
|| Virus product
Hamaki Tenteki=Granulosis virus of Homona magnanima/Adoxophyes
V. Applied areas by biopesticides and Natural enemies (Estimate
| Name of Natural enemy
||Amount (million yen)
|| 1,250 hectare
| Microbial fungicides
|| 20,000 hectare
| Microbial Insecticides (ex BT)
|| 4,000 hectare
VI. Future trend of Biological control
Biological control is still a small piece of plant protection
But the system is well accepted by growers and supermarket chains,
the growth tendency
appears to continue for greenhouse horticulture.
Open field biocontrol is still experimental level, but with newly
developed biopesticides in Japan, the market will be grown as
biological control’s share in world crop protection
is still less than 1 percent.