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Improved ways of producing sterile male fruit flies released to short-circuit the breeding cycle, new biocontrols such as augmentative releases of parasitic wasps, and better ways to manage crops to minimize fruit fly infestation are all techniques that have come from PBARC research.
In 2001, PBARC began the next major step in fruit fly control by developing an areawide integrated pest management (IPM) program in Hawaii.
"Papaya is easily grown in the tropics in home back yards, [but] we found that the papaya virus posed the same problem in Bangladesh that we had here in Hawaii," says Dennis Gonsalves, director of the PBARC, referring to the ringspot virus that decimated the papaya crop in Puna, where 95 percent of Hawaii's commercial papayas are grown, nearly destroying the state's second-largest fruit-crop industry in the 1990s.
Now, we have PBARC, a $60-million facility with high-quality jobs and research that will benefit agriculture.
Box 4459, Hilo, HI 96720; phone (808) 959-4340, fax (808) 959-4319, e-mail ejang@ pbarc.ars.usda.gov.
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