Biological control of pigweeds (Amaranthus retroflexus L., A. powellii S. Watson and A. bouchonii Thell.) with phytophagous insects, fungal pathogens and crop management.
The aim of this sub-project of COST action 816 was to investigate the possibilities of classical and inundative biological control of Amaranthus spp., to characterize potential biological control agents and to develop methods for their integration with current phytosanitary measures in target crops. The project was initiated with an extended literature survey followed by field surveys for insects and pathogens associated with Amaranthus spp. in several European countries. Promising isolates of fungal pathogens have been tested on detached leaves and whole plants, and initial studies on the application of pathogens causing damping off in seedlings have been made. Further, the variability of different provenances of Amaranthus spp. in response to fungal attack has been investigated.