Wolbachia-based strategies for control of agricultural pests

J. T. Gong, T. P. Li, M. K. Wang and X. Y. Hong,  Curr Opin Insect Sci,  101039:10.1016/j.cois.2023.101039. 2023.

Wolbachia-based incompatible insect technique (IIT) and pathogen blocking technique (PBT) have been shown to be effective at protecting humans from mosquito-borne diseases in the past decades. Population suppression based on IIT and population replacement based on PBT have become major field application strategies that have continuously been improved by the translational research on Wolbachia-transinfected mosquitoes. Similarly, Wolbachia-based approaches have been proposed for the protection of plants from agricultural pests and their associated diseases. However, a bottleneck in Wolbachia-based strategies for the control of agricultural pests is the need for methods to establish Wolbachia-transinfected insect lines. As a first step in this direction, we compare field control strategies for mosquitos with the potential strategies for agricultural pests based on Wolbachia. Our results show that there is a critical need for establishing productive insect lines and accumulating field test data.

More related to this: