This is the first report of the presence of the Mexican mealybug (Phenacoccus gossypii) in cultured tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus), at different sites in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Tarragon is a perennial herb that has important economical and gastronomic value. The Mexican mealybug is disseminated through vegetative buds contaminated with eggs, larvae, or adults. To control it, several insecticides of different toxicological groups are used; however, their efficacy is low and this option compromises the organic production of this herb. Therefore, we developed a new technique using in vitro culturing of tarragon that does not contain the Mexican mealybug at any life stage, used for greenhouse production. However, it is relevant to mention that further research is needed to obtain the best biocontrol strategies to reduce the risk of new colonization of the Mexican mealybug in tarragon.
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Vol. 39 • No. 4