The National Programme on Conservation and Utilization of Microbial Genetic Resources and Invertebrates of Agricultural Importance

Collection of Invertebrate Crop Pests

Collection of invertebrate crop pests and their natural enemies holds approximately 35 species. Most of them belong to insect crop pests (the true bugs (Heteroptera), leafhoppers (Auchenorrhyncha), aphids (Aphidoidea), whiteflies (Aleyrodomorpha), beetles (Coleoptera), moths (Lepidoptera) and dipterans (Diptera)), collection however includes also their natural enemies, mainly of the order Hymenoptera. Among other invertebrate taxa, nematodes (Nematoda), land slugs and snails (Pulmonata), millipedes (Millipeda), terrestrial isopods (Isopoda) and mites (Acari) are preserved. Some of the taxa are available in more then one strains.
The collection also includes more than 150.000 specimens of dry dead material of insect crop pests, including quarantine ones, and their natural enemies. Collection benefits from research projects of the Entomology group by continuous inclusion of samples from arable fields, orchards and surrounding semi-natural habitats. Identification is provided by the scientific stuff of the Entomology group or externally.
• Methods of culture maintenance
The method of preservation relates to the way of life of each particular species of invertebrate. Endophytophagous (nematodes) or ectophytophagous specialists (aphids) have to be kept and propagated in or on their host plant only. Climatic chambers with controlled photoperiod are used for these purposes. Other species, mainly of the orders of Coleoptera and Lepidoptera, can be reared on artificial diet. Due to the character of work the collection can be kept only with a huge inut of human manual labour, provided by the technical stuff of the Entomology group.
Collections of live and dead insects and other invertebrate crop pests and their antagonists are used in research projects of the Entomology groups (NAZV, MŠMT, GA ČR, TA ČR and MZE). Collections are also used during teaching at all levels of pre- and postgraduate studies at Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague (plant medicine and ecology) and Faculty of Sciences, Charles University in Prague (ecology, entomology). Examples of research projects which benefit from this collection are listed below:
• Development of biological methods of plant protection against phytoparasitic nematodes usable in integrated systems of crop production, NAZV, QH81163
• Screening of biological activity against model insect species in substances obtained from plants of the Euroasian region, MŠMT, ME09079
• Development of new products for a complex plant protection based on natural substances obtained using methods of supercritical extraction and hydrodestilation, TA ČR, TA01010578
• Long-time changes in population of cereal aphids and their predator, GA ČR, 522/05/0765.
Crop Research Institute Prague
Drnovská 507
161 06 Praha 6 – Ruzyně
RNDr. Jiří Skuhrovec, Ph.D. (curator)
e-mail:, tel: 233022332
Ing. Ondřej Douda, Ph.D.
RNDr. Milan Řezáč, Ph.D.
Mgr. Stanislava Koprdová

Breeding Collections of Storage Insects and Mites

The history of the establishment of collections and breeds of storage pests, mites and fungi is dated back to 1958. These collections have been established in the Research Institute of Food Industry at the Department of stored product pests. In 1995 the entire department, including the breeds and collections, was transferred to the Crop Research Institute, in which has been housed until today.
• Characteristics of collections and strains; number of cultures
Collections are oriented on keeping and breeding of storage pests and their natural enemies occurring in grain stores and food processing plants. Nowadays the entire collection contains more than 70 species of major pests and their biological enemies. Many of these species are also kept in multiple strains. Annually approximately 120 to 160 strains of pests are housed in the collection. The collection includes species from several taxonomical groups: storage mites (Acarina), beetles (Coleoptera), psocids (Psocoptera), cockroaches (Blattodea), butterflies (Lepidoptera) and natural enemies from the order Hymenoptera.
An integral part of the collection is a reference collection of dry accessions. It contains more than 10,000 mounted specimens of mites and more than 30,000 individuals of conserved insects. This collection is continuously updated. Identification is performed mainly by team personnel protection of stored pests or external specialists.
• Activities
All accession (i.e. storage pest species and strains) are regularly subjected to testing in order to obtain or update the knowledge on the current biological parameters of a particular strain. Given the thematic orientation of the collection on storage pests, most of the activities are focused on the characterization of the strains in terms of their sensitivity to the different active ingredients of insecticides or biocides or their formulations (e.g. residual sprays, aerosols, fumigants). Further activities are focused on the characterization and estimation of biological parameters regarding the potential use of natural enemies in biological control in agricultural stores and food processing plants.
• Services
The species and strains ( included in this collection) are provided for free under a condition that they used for non-commercial or non-profit purposes. This includes in particular the use of non-commercial research such as usage for research grants (e.g. NAZV, GACR etc.) and educational purposes (e.g. teaching material for schools and universities).
• Methods of strains´ preservation
Methods of preservation of different biological accessions are species and strains specific. The main aspect of proper “breeding know-how” is the selection of proper feeding diet, temperature, relative humidity and light-dark regime. To maintain suitable breeding conditions automatically regulated thermostats and tempered room, and desiccators are used. Due to labor demanding and species- specific requirement, the maintenance of the collection depends on the large input of manual work of well-trained technician.
• iInternational collaboration
Accessions from the collection are regularly provided free to the international partners and universities as biological material. In return, the collection is annually enriched by the new species or strains of different pests obtained from various institutions abroad. Currently, the most important partners for collaboration recruits from China, Germany, France, Italy, and Greece, etc.
Crop Research Institute Prague
Drnovská 507
161 06 Praha 6 – Ruzyně
Ing. Radek Aulický (curator)
e-mail:, tel: 233022360