|Bacteria as Biocontrol Agents|
Bacteria have been neglected as biocontrol agents against imported fire ants. A novel approach to fire ant biocontrol, including the isolation and identification of bacteria from fire ants and their nests, is needed to provide additional options for a long-term sustainable control of imported fire ants. Bacterial isolates obtained from fire ants, their nests, and other materials/organisms associated with fire ants will be tested for their potential as microbial control agents. Also, we seek to identify bacteria that can survive environmental conditions in fire ant nests. Bacterial isolates obtained from South and North American fire ant populations will be tested as control agents or as vectors for control agents.