Date of this Version
Environmental Entomology, 48(6), 2019, 1260–1269
Knowledge of dispersal and spatial dynamics of pest populations is fundamental for implementation of integrated pest management and integrated resistance management.This study evaluated 1) the effectiveness of egg white albumin protein to mark larvae and adults of two polyphagous and highly mobile pests, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (fall armyworm) and Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (corn earworm) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and 2) the sensitivity of polyvinylidene difluoride membrane (dot blot) in detecting albumin on marked insects. Laboratory and field experiments tested egg albumin as a protein marker, which was detected using two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), microplate, and dot blot. In the laboratory, 100% of the moths sprayed with 20% egg white solution acquired the albumin marker, which was detected through the last time point tested (5 d) after application. Egg albumin was not effective at long-term marking of larvae, detected only prior the molting to the next instar. Albumin application in field cages resulted in a high percentage of moths detected as marked at 24 h and 5 d for both species. Egg albumin applied in the open field resulted in 15% of the recaptured corn earworm moths marked with most of them collected 150 m from the application area, although some were captured as far as 1,600 m within approximately 6 d after adult emergence.The results indicated egg albumin is a suitable marker to study the dispersion of fall armyworm and corn earworm in the agroecosystem and dot blot was as effective to detect egg albumin as was indirect ELISA.