Integrated Control in Protected Crops in Japan
Arysta LifeScience Corp.
Bio Solution Dept.
Tetsuo Wada


◆Introduction

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 pesticides
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. and northwestern
European countries.
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 University.
The basics are not much different from the original protocol.
But the weather/greenhouse/horticuture conditions are very much different from those in
Europe.

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 regional characteristics.

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 pressure)
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.

(ア) Registration
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

i.Efficacy data
6 efficacy data for vegetables are required.
6 data should be done over 2 years.

ii.Toxicology data
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

Natural Enemy Target Pest Comments
Spidex Spider mites Quick predation
Enstrip Whitefly Consecutive release needed
Aphipar Aphids Mummy forming parasite
Tairiku Thrips Japanese species
Arigata Thrips Okinawa species
Spical Spider mites Outdoor crop applicable
Namitop Aphids Japanese species
Latin name: Spidex=Phytoseiulus persimilis
Enstrip=Encarsia Formosa
Aphipar=Aphidius colemani
Tairiku=Orius strigicollis
Arigata=Franklinothrips vespiformis
Namitop=Harmonia axylidis

2.Microbials
a. Microbial Fungicides
Product Name Target Comments
Botokiller Botrytis on vegetable Dust application
Biokeeper Soft rot on veg/orchid antagonist
Cell Nae Genki Bacterial wilt Induced resistance
Momi Genki Rice dumping-off antagonist
Ecohope Bakanae, dumping-off parasitism, antagonist
Biotrust Anthracnose on stawberry antagonist/parasitism
Maruka light Fusarium on Water melon avirulent species
All product except Botokiller developed in Japan.
Latin name: Botokiller=Bacillus subtilis
Biokeeper=Avirulent Erwinia carotovora
Cell Nae Genki=Pseudomonas fluorescent
Momi Genki=Pseudomonas spp.
Ecohope=Trichoderma spp.
Biotrust=Talaromyces flavus
Maruka light=Avirulent Fusarium oxysporium

a. Microbial Insecticides
Product Name Target Comments
BioSafe Coleoptera/lepidoptera nematode product
Mycotal whitefly parasitism
Botanigard Thrips/Diamondback moth fungal product
Hamaki Tenteki Tea leafroller Virus product
Latin name: Biosafe=Steinernem carpocapsae
Mycotal=Verticillium lecanii
Botanigard=Beauveria bassiana
Hamaki Tenteki=Granulosis virus of Homona magnanima/Adoxophyes orana

V. Applied areas by biopesticides and Natural enemies (Estimate in 2004)
Name of Natural enemy Acreage Amount (million yen)
Parasitoid/Predator 1,250 hectare 250
Microbial fungicides 20,000 hectare 400
Microbial Insecticides (ex BT) 4,000 hectare 200

VI. Future trend of Biological control
Biological control is still a small piece of plant protection market.
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.


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