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The theme of the book is highly relevant to the current emphasis on environment conservation, with focus on native biodiversity conservation in agro-ecosystems. The current impetus being given to organic farming and export oriented agri-hortculture in the country calls for access to relevant scientific knowledge base among the stakeholders. Research on biological pest control is more than a century old in India. Egg parasitoids, which are mainly tiny wasps, led by the family Trichogrammatidae, are the most widely utilized natural enemies for biological control globally. Over thirty countries are using these bioagents to protect over 10 million hectares of agricultural and forestry crops from many important insect pests. The book comprises 18 chapters, which are arranged in continuum, commencing with basic aspects of knowledge and ending in their utilization targets. The chapters cover broadly four areas: bio-diversity and natural occurrence of egg parasitoids, behaviour and adaptation of egg parasitoids, mass production and safe use of egg parasitoids and utilisation of egg parasitoids in different crop ecosystems. Some of the chapters cater to the needs of discipline-wise update on the current R&D scenario-like insect taxonomy, biotechnology, mass-production and quality control of the target organisms - egg-parasitoids, which are useful for laboratory scientists/researchers. There are also chapters devoted to knowledge status and scope for utilization of egg parasitoids in different target crops, which cater to requirements of field entomologists and extensionists for use in their tasks of guiding farmers/local guides. The book is different in approach, method, structure and content and ensures holistic coverage of the topic. The chapters are written by active and experienced workers in different crops and aspects and co-edited by four very experienced experts who have over three decades R&D experience in the subject. All the authors have uniformly focussed on comprehensive literature study and critical identification of knowledge gaps for future R&D, thus the book is novel in outlook, up-to-date in content and comprehensive in coverage of themes. This book will be useful for supplementary reading for MSc Agriculture and PhD Agriculture students, besides MSc/PhD research students in Zoology/Environmental Biology, who are specialising in Entomology. It would also serve as a very useful reference book for researchers worldwide, though focus is also there on Indian work. It addresses the special information needs of students and faculty, besides practitioners and extensionists in the Australasia and Africa regions and thus not limited to the R&D knowledge generated in developed countries.
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Dr Sithanantham is an agricultural entomologist, with over 40 years of R&D experience in biological pest control in tropical countries, mainly in India and Eastern/Southern Africa. He has served in several leading national/international organizations including TNAU, ICAR, ICRISAT, FAO and ICIPE. His focal crops for biocontrol include cereals, legumes, sugarcane, cotton and vegetables. Trichogrammatid egg parasitoids have been among his major target insects in R&D. He has edited four books besides publishing 10 book chapters and over 120 research articles. He also served as joint editor for the Indian Journal of Plant Protection for four years. Presently, he is Director - Entomology, Sun Agro Biosystems, Porur, and Chennai.
Dr (Ms.) Chandish R Ballal is serving as Principal Scientist (Agricultural Entomology), in-charge Mass Production Laboratory and Unit, Division of Insect Ecology, National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (erstwhile Project Directorate of Biological Control) (ICAR), Bangalore. She has 29 years of research experience in the field of biological control of crop pests. Her major areas of interest are to develop production protocols for host insects and potential parasitoids and predators and to evaluate mass produced natural enemies against target pests. Amongst parasitoids, she has worked on trichogrammatids, scelionids, braconids, ichneumonids and encyrtids and amongst predators on chrysopids, coccinellids and anthocorids She has around 175 Research publications including research papers, book chapters/scientific reviews, technical documents/bulletins, symposia papers and report compilations.
Dr S. K. Jalali is serving as Principal Scientist (Agricultural Entomology), Division of Insect Systematics and In-charge Biotechnology Laboratory and Prioritisation Monitoring and Evaluation Cell at the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (ICAR). He has 29 years of research experience in the field of biological control of crop pests. His major areas of interest include development of stress tolerant natural enemies with particular reference to trichogrammatids, and to evaluate them on various crops, molecular characterization of insects, and identification of genes responsible for various abiotic stresses. Amongst parasitoids, he has worked on trichogrammatids, scelionids and encyrtids and amongst predators on chrysopids and coccinellids. He has nearly 160 Research publications including research papers, book chapters /scientific reviews, technical documents/bulletins and symposia papers and report compilations.
Dr. N. Bakthavatsalam is serving as Principal Scientist (Agricultural Entomology) & Incharge Head, Division of Insect Ecology, National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Bangalore. Apart from his Ph. D, he has done his post doctorate on the olfactory receptors of model insect, Drosophila. He has more than 31 years of research experience. His areas of interest include strain and species selection of Chrysopid predators, influence of physical and chemical characters on pest and natural enemy activity, use of allelochemicals to increase the efficiency of parasitoids and predators on cotton, rice and coconut. Presently, he is engaged in research involving utility of semiochemicals for field application against various dipterous, lepidopterous and coleopterous pests. He has more than 80 publications in international and national journals, symposium articles, book chapters, bulletins and report compilations.
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