IOBC Conference Contributions

In the last issue of MBCN, I presented brief summaries of presentations on biological control of insects from the International Organization for Biological Control's (IOBC) international conference, "Technology Transfer in Biological Control: From Research to Practice." Here are a few summaries on plant disease biological control.

An integrated biological control strategy for foliar bacterial diseases on tomato - M. Wilson, Auburn University, AL

Development of Gliocladium virens for control of Pythium and Rhizoctonia - R. Lumsden, USDA, Beltsville, MD

Production and use of Trichoderma harzianum as biocontrol agent for Botrytis cinerea in grapes - R. San Martin, Catholic University, Santiago, Chile

There were many other very interesting presentations on biological control of plant diseases. Next month I will include a few presentations on weed biological control.

- Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Students Debate Issues in Biological Control

Every year student members of the Entomological Society of America participate in a debate relating to one particular issue in entomology. At the 1994 ESA annual meeting the topic was "Environmental Issues Associated with Enhancing the Impact of Biological Control Agents." Short summaries of the statements of the participants - examining the issue and debating the pro and con positions were recently published in American Entomologist.

The students were presented with the following four statements and were randomly assigned to prepare either a brief historical background, argue that the statement is true, or argue that the statement is false:

While the students' comments are too lengthy to present in this newsletter, it is interesting to note that the topics covered are still being debated by scientists throughout the country and public policies based on these issues have not yet been decided. Although the views expressed are not necessarily the views of the students (the debators were required to present the strongest case possible in defense of a given position, but were randomly assigned a position), they are part of the next generation of scientists who will be deciding public policy and the fate of biological control in the future. The article gives us a perspective on their thoughts on these important issues in biological control.

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