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Predatory mites wage biowar on thrips plaguing Dutch tulips

"Even in a pandemic, my thrips come first. I worried more about these insects — common garden pests that feast on tulips, roses and other important crops here in the Netherlands — than I worried about myself. Here, I’m using a brush to gently herd hundreds of thrips (Echinothrips americanus) onto their new home, a bean plant. Later, I’ll try to kill them with predatory mites, a potential biological weapon that could be deployed in greenhouses. For now, I just want them to be healthy", Giuditta Beretta, PhD student at the University of Amsterdam, tells Nature.

"This climate-controlled chamber at the University of Amsterdam is a thrip paradise. It’s a constant 25 °C with 75% humidity. The purple light helps the bean plant to grow. A plain white light would probably suffice, but we decided we should do something nice for the plant after covering it in pests."

Read more at Nature (Chris Woolston)


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