Faculty and research guide

Laboratory of Applied Entomology

Yohsuke Tagami, Atsushi Kasai

The basic focus of the Laboratory of Applied Entomology is on finding efficient insect pest controls using biological pesticides, as a means of reducing the load on the environment. Specifically, we are doing basic research on the interactions between insects and microorganisms that live with them, and research on the biological control of pests (e.g., on insects which are natural enemies of the insect pests). Our intention with this research is to develop insect pest control technology that has a smaller effect on the ecosystem, and on man and animals. This research is an advanced type of endeavor that is important because it can contribute greatly to the safe production of agricultural products.

[1] Research on natural enemies
There are natural enemies that parasitize insects (parasitic natural enemies) and natural enemies that prey on insects (predacious natural enemies). We are studying whether these natural enemies can possibly be used to control pests efficiently.

[2] Research on microorganisms that live with insects
Many microorganisms live with insects, either in or on their bodies or in their cells. These microorganisms manipulate the insect in various ways. This means that we are studying complicated interactions between an insect and the microorganisms that may be either parasitic or symbiotic.

[3] The study of tritrophic interactions
Interspecific interactions formed by plants, herbivores and predators construct complex systems (e.g. mutualism and/or competition) from simple actions as predator-prey relationships. We are studying to elucidate the essential interest relationship in these systems.

Diglyphus isaea: This is a leaf-miner parasite and has been commercialized for natural insect control.

Hercinothrips femoralis (Reuter): When Wolbachia are infected with the cells of Hercinothrips femoralis, a state of thelytoky is produced.

Domatia of camphor tree: This structure construct predator-prey mutualism among plant, herbivore and predator interactions.