New Concept of Biological Control: Bio-control Plants Used for Management of Arthropod Pests
The modern organic agriculture has increasingly become a hot topic worldwide. In general, organic agriculture is complied with organic standards set by national governments and international organizations. The rule does not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. With the growing emphasis on the environment and the food safety, the discovery and development of effective biological control approaches, especially in botanically based techniques, such as botanically derived pesticides to manage arthropod pest populations is facing a new challenge. This review is intended to discuss bio-control plants and provide insights of these plants used for potential biological control of arthropod pests in the field of crop protection. As all known, all crops or plants are always attacked by their enemies, i.e. arthropod pests. In most cases, the plant species or diversities within crop ecosystem provide an excellent opportunities for manage pests in organic agricultural production. Under certain circumstances, these crops or plants can rely on their own defense strategies, such as plant physiological and biochemical merits, against arthropod pest population. These plant defense strategies are playing key role in regulation of arthropod pest populations. Therefore, the botanically based techniques are particularly useful in pest management of the organic agriculture. Based on the studies, a new concept, bio-control plants (BCP), or bio-control plant agent, was emerging. The bio-control plants are defined as these plant species that could be used as biological control agents direct or indirectly to eliminate or manage the targeted arthropod pests, these bio-control plants include host-resistant plants, insecticidal plants, repellent plants, flowering plants, insectary plants (for natural enemies) and so on. The bio-control plants, in general, consist of three types of plant species based on plant characteristic and functional response to arthropod pest attacks. 1) The crops or plants that have specific chemical or physical characteristic which could be used to reduce, repel or kill pests, such as naturally- resistant crops, or botanical based host-resistant transgenic plants, and insecticidal plants; 2) The crops or plants that could deliver specific nutrients to natural enemies for development and reproduction, e. g, specific insectary plants, banker plants, and specific flowering plants; 3) The crops or plants that could provide shelter or reproduction habitats, such field-side plants (weeds). Generally speaking, the bio-control plants have several advantages: First, as naturally or botanically based techniques, the bio-control plant agents provide new option approach for managing important arthropod pests. The plant-based agents introduced to the crop ecosystem would make growers implement easily, overall significantly reduce pesticides or other chemical inputs in the modern organ agriculture; these environmental friendly approaches would increase crop yields and increasingly assure food safety. Secondly, the bio-control plants may highly effective support natural enemy without risks, e.g., the banker plants or specific flowering plants. Overall vegetation diversity within the crop ecosystem may in part offer wider range of nectar (carbohydrate) and pollen (protein) resources from flowering plants for beneficial against arthropods during growing season. Thirdly, the bio-control plants could be compatible with other biologically control methods. Without doubt, the bio-control plants put emphasis on substantial natural suppression mechanism of targeted pests either throughout natural enemies or plant self function within a crop system. This exploitation of the bio-control plants should be bright and great benefit to producer and customers in future.
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