Start Date: Nov 24, 2005
End Date: Nov 23, 2010
Using modern techniques of computer-generated climate matching, molecular biology, chemical ecology and risk analysis, the native range of the target pests will be pinpointed, the coevolved genotypes of key natural enemies will be identified, and their behavioral and physiological efficiency on target and non-target hosts will be determined through basic studies on the biology, ecology and behavior. Physiological (laboratory) host specificity tests of candidate biological control agents will be conducted in a risk analysis context to generate data necessary to predict safety and efficacy of the agents, and to seek concurrence from State and Federal regulatory agencies for release. Field and laboratory studies on non-target species will determine ecological host range. The most promising natural enemies will be prioritized and shipped to U.S. cooperators for further collaborative screening and release.