Biological Control in Agriculture; educational videos
During the BINGO project we made two short educational videos about biological control, featuring predatory mites.
The first video; ‘The invisible world of mites’, uses close-up film material to present the reality of spidermites that cause severe damage to agricultural crops and of the predatory mites that control them. At the same time it also shows challenges for the biocontrol agent.
The second (animated) film ‘Selective breeding’ is linked to the first film. It gives a concise explanation of selective breeding and how it could be of use for to improve biocontrol and how it could potentially help predatory mites.
These videos were made to for the use of teachers, to introduce the topic of biocontrol and at the same time teach the concept of selective breeding.
Below you can find the links to both of the video's:
Biological control in Agriculture – The invisible world of mites
This (2 min.) movie uses macro video material to show biocontrol in action in close-up at a milimetre scale. It uses the example of the pest Spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) and the predatory mite (Amblyseius swirskii) as a biocontrolagent. Shown are the danger of the spider mite with its fast reproduction and plant consumption versus the killing ability of the predatory mite. The challenge that the predatory mite cannot disperse on tomato plants is shown and linked to the importance of science in the search for solutions.
The video is made by Sophie Le Hesran and Pablo Moreno. The mites were filmed in cooperation with Urs Wyss.
Biological control in Agriculture – Selective breeding
This (5 min.) movie uses simple animation to clearly explain selective breeding. Firstly, it covers natural selection by giving a definition and by explaining the requirements. In this explanation it also gives definitions for selection pressures and fitness. Natural selection is linked to the suitability of the mite as a biological control agent. Secondly, selective breeding (artificial selection) is explained and defined. It is compared to natural selection, and its requirements and background and basic mechanism are explained. Finally the application of selective breeding is linked to the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis where previous selective breeding has led to a heat-resistant predatory mite, but that researchers are still working on selecting for a drought resistant mite, which is needed for biocontrol in dryer areas.
The video is made by Erica Ras.
Together, these two videos can be used very well by teachers as additional information for the topic of evolution or applied biology. They introduce the topic of biocontrol and at the same time teach the concept of selective breeding. For more information you can contact: Bart.Pannebakker@wur.nl