1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The goal of this project is to isolate and characterize strains of fungi (Ambrosiella spp.) associated with ambrosia beetles. Objectives include. 1)Isolate strains of Ambrosiella from ambrosia beetles (Xylosandrus spp.),. 2)Develop molecular characterization of these strains, and. 3)Determine their susceptibility to commercially available fungal antagonists.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Ambrosia beetles (Xylosandrus spp. and others) are pests of a wide array of woody plants used in the nursery industry. They depend for their survival on their own cultivation of a fungus (Ambrosiella spp. and others). Fungi will be isolated from available Xylosandrus spp., including X. crassiusculus and X. germanus. RAPD-based techniques and others will be used to characterize strains genetically. Each strain will be tested for susceptibility to commercially available fungal antagonists, including Trichoderma spp. and others. Survival of Ambrosiella spp. and beetles within galleries will be evaluated.
Over 50 isolates of fungal symbionts Ambrosiella were obtained from black stem borers. Isolates are phenotypically variable. Molecular characterization to date has shown at least 2 distinct genotypes. Petri dish assays have demonstrated that Ambrosiella is inhibited by entomopathogenic fungi.
Monitoring done through weekly meetings and periodic written summaries.