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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF EMERALD ASH BORER AND QUARANTINE SERVICES

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research

Project Number: 1926-22000-020-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Dec 15, 2005
End Date: Oct 19, 2010

Objective:
(1) Conduct explorations for natural enemies of the emerald ash borer (includes foreign exploration in the Far East as well as a search for native natural enemies of indigenous buprestid beetles), choose suitable investigation areas, inventory natural enemies attacking target pest, investigate the structure of the enemy complex, and conduct field studies of their impact on the target pest. (2) Perform bioecological studies on promising natural enemies discovered includes studies on life history and behavior, host specificity (Asiatic species), synchronization with the pest, physiological tolerance to different climatic factors, and establishment of priorities in utilization of promising species based upon their biological characteristics. (3) Quarantine services for beneficial insects includes quarantine handling of natural enemies of high priority plant pests for other in-house projects (Asian longhorned beetle, soybean aphid, lygus bugs, brown marmorated stingbug) and pass-thru services for state and federal agencies.

Approach:
Investigate natural enemies of emerald ash borer in Far East: inventory biotic agents, assess role in population dynamics of pest, set priorities for importation, and ship promising species to Newark for further study. Candidate species that appear to be monophagous or oligophagous, or which have many suspect host records will be subjected to laboratory tests in quarantine on North American species selected for study. Both choice and no-choice tests will be used in evaluating host range. Study natural enemies of indigenous buprestid beetles to identify effective candidate species that could be used effectively against EAB in North America. Experiments will be conducted to find optimum temperatures, relative humidity, and photoperiod needed to rear the most promising species. Releases will be made in areas having moderate to high host populations. Monitoring of EAB population density and natural enemy buildup and dispersal after colonization will be used to interpret the efficacy of biological control agents established. Screen incoming shipments of natural enemies of other pests for other ARS CRIS units as well as other institutions involved with biological control research, to remove undesirable organisms and obtain pure cultures of natural enemies other invasive species. Ship approved natural enemies to cooperators.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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