Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), is a destructive pest of potato, Solanum tuberosum (L.), in North America. It is renowned for adapting to insecticides. With the arsenal of effective insecticides decreasing, it is important to consider alternative forms of control. Biotin is an essential coenzyme for insect growth and development. Avidin is a protein found in chicken egg that sequesters biotin and has shown insecticidal properties against a range of insect. We assessed the effectiveness of avidin against the Colorado potato beetle neonates in a no-choice detached leaf bioassay at 0, 17, 34, 51, 102, and 204 μg avidin/ml over 12 d. The LC50 was 136 μg avidin/ml (108–188 95% CL). The combined effects of avidin (136 μg avidin/ml) with Bt-Cry3A or leptines were evaluated with neonates and third instars over 12 and 6 d, respectively. Three potato lines were used: susceptible line, a line engineered to express Cry3A from Bacillus thuringiensis, and a line expressing the natural resistance factor leptines. The addition of avidin at the LC50 concentration significantly reduced consumption by neonates, but it did not affect consumption by third instars feeding on the susceptible line and the leptine line. Survival of neonates feeding on the susceptible line with avidin was significantly reduced compared with the susceptible line. Survival of third instars on the Bt-Cry3A with avidin was significantly reduced after 3 d compared with survival on the Bt-Cry3A, suggesting the addition of avidin may increase susceptibility to Bt-Cry3A.
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Vol. 99 • No. 2