2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this cooperative research project is to develop methods to use eriophyid mites for biological control of weeds.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
We will conduct research on the taxonomy, behavior and ecology of eriophyid mites associated with noxious weeds such as yellow starthistle and Russian thistle. Documents NFCA with U. of Bari, IT. Formerly 5325-22000-020-35N(1/11).
Research on the identification and biology of eriophyid mites associated with yellow starthistle and Russian thistle was conducted this year in support of Objective 2, to discover and evaluate the host specificity and efficacy of prospective biological control agents. Aceria salsolae is an eriophyid mite identified by a scientist that is a prospective biological control agent of Russian Thistle. This year experiments were conducted in the USDA-ARS quarantine laboratory in Albany, California, to measure the propensity of this mite to disperse away from target and nontarget test plants under controlled conditions in a wind tunnel. The results to date indicate that wind helps mites to disperse from plants and that mites have a much greater tendency to remain on Salsola than on the other nontarget species that have been tested.