Zeolites in Agriculture: Oviposition deterrent effect of Greek Analcime-rich zeolite rock against the olive fruit fly Bactrocera Oleae

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Soultana Kyriaki Kovaiou*, Anastasia Kokkari, Christina Mytiglaki, Nikos Kouloussis, Nikolaos Kantiranis

In recent years there is an increased research interest for non-toxic, ecologically advantageous and affordable materials, such as zeolites, and their use for insect pest control. Analcime exhibits a complex and compact structure, compared to other zeolites. A representative sample (anaS) from zeolite-rich sediments of Karlovassi-Marathokampos basin of Samos Island, Greece, was mineralogically and chemically characterized for oviposition-deterrent effect against one of the most serious pests of olive fruit, namely Bactrocera oleae (Diptera: Tephritidae). Sample anaS consists of 54 wt.% analcime (zeolite) and can be characterized as analcimic zeolite rock. The studied sample is free of fibrous minerals. The sorption ability measured 285 meq/100g. An aqueous dilute suspension of the analcime-rich zeolite rock applied on the surface of olive fruit, and subsequently determined its oviposition deterrent effect for the olive fly. It was found that anaS had a significant oviposition deterrent effect and resulted in a significant reduction in the number of the eggs laid on olives. This deterrent effect could be attributed to the creation of a thin layer (hymen) of the analcime-rich zeolite rock on the surface of the fruits. Future laboratory and field research, which is now running from our group, is required in order to verify the present results and improve the effectiveness of zeolites for the control of the olive fruit fly and other pests.

Keywords: zeolite, zeolite rock, analcime, deterrent effect, olive fruit fly, Bactrocera Oleae, mineralogy, pest control, agriculture, environment.

Proscience vol. 9

Pp 25-30

DOI: 10.14644/EC2023.005