DISCOVERY AND INITIAL DEVELOPMENT OF CLASSICAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS FOR INVASIVE EURASIAN WEEDS AFFECTING AGRICULTURAL & NATURAL AREAS
Project Number: 0212-22000-023-00
Start Date: Dec 02, 2005
End Date: Dec 01, 2010
Conduct exploration for and investigate the biology, efficacy and nontarget effects of new natural enemies from Europe, Asia and Africa, on the primary target weeds: Centauria solstitialis, Arundo donax, Isatis tinctoria, and Dipsacus fullonum; and the secondary targets: Tamarix spp., Taeniatherum caput-medusae asperum, Euphorbia esula, Centaurea maculosa, C. virgata squarrosa, Lepidium draba, and Chondrilla juncea, and successfully ship high-priority beneficial arthropods and pathogens to U.S. cooperators.
Climate matching and molecular marker techniques will aid in selecting collection areas within the center of origin of target weeds. Promising natural enemies will be identified, colonized and host range tests will be conducted following approval of plant species to be tested. Where appropriate, biological and ecological characteristics data will be recorded and compared between native and U.S. ranges. The most promising natural enemies will be shipped to U.S. cooperators for further evaluation and release for establishment.