2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Identify semiochemicals from host plants, natural enemies and/or conspecifics that can be used as tools in the management of the invasive emerald ash borer.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Laboratory and field research will be done to identify, isolate, synthesize, and test antennally active semiochemicals of emerald ash borer.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle pest from Asia that is causing widespread mortality of ash trees in the U.S. and Canada. National surveys, performed by federal and state agencies, are to determine the presence of EAB in forests, woodlots, and urban areas. These surveys rely on traps baited with attractants that are placed in still healthy ash trees. The current attractants are based on compounds released by stressed ash trees.
ARS, Crop Bioprotection Research Unit scientists at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, IL, have be looking for additional attractants from the EAB itself, ash leaves and ash bark, and are investigating why some ash species are more susceptible to EAB attack than others species. The research has resulted in several new attractants: a female-produced EAB sex pheromone, newly identified ash bark compounds, and demonstrated that white and green ash are more susceptible to EAB attack due to a higher output of attractive compounds compared to less susceptible ash species. However, most of these attractants are not commercially available and will have to be synthesized, which has also been a major effort by the scientist of this research group. Earlier field studies in the U.S. and Canada, with help from U.S. and Canadian collaborators, confirmed that the EAB sex pheromone and the ash bark compounds are attractive for EAB. This year, with the help of scientists from the Canadian Forest Service and APHIS, we have demonstrated that very small amounts of this pheromone mixed together with a single ash volatile compound is highly attractive to adult EAB insects in the field. This newly developed attractant mixture could be a more cost efficient and more attractive alternative to the current ash oils that are used in the national survey programs.
These results will help in the detections of new populations of this destructive ash pest by using the attractants in baited field traps to pinpoint the presence of EAB populations.