About the project
Use of biological control agents for pest management in Indian agriculture has been limited due to the perceived slow acting nature of bioagents, and their vulnerability to various abiotic and pesticide-induced stresses. Efforts are being made to understand the effect of abiotic stresses on biocontrol agents and the mechanisms of tolerance, if any, to these stresses.
The National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is funding this project under Component 4 to conduct basic research on the effect of abiotic stresses like temperature, salinity, drought, etc. and pesticides on the performance of four major bioagents, namely, Trichogramma chilonis, Chrysoperla spp. (carnea-group), Trichoderma spp. and Pseudomonas spp., which are used to control a wide array of insect pests and diseases in Indian agriculture.
This project proposes to collect genetically diverse populations / strains of these bioagents from selected crops and different agroclimatic zones and characterize their stress tolerance levels and the mechanism(s) of tolerance to stresses so that the best strains / populations can be selected for use. These can be genetically improved further and applied in the field for better pest management.