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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management of Insects That Attack Horticultural, Turf, and Nursery Crops

Location: Application Technology Research Unit

Project Number: 5082-22000-012-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Dec 28, 2010
End Date: Dec 27, 2015

Objective:
#1: Develop improved techniques for managing scarabs and ambrosia beetles in nurseries by determining the biology and ecology of exotic scarabs and ambrosia beetles in relation to the nursery ecosystem, the response of nursery crops to root herbivory by exotic scarabs and potential relationship to attacks by ambrosia beetles, and by examining interactions between exotic ambrosia beetles and the nursery ecosystem including factors leading to attacks on nursery trees by ambrosia beetles, especially as it relates to abiotic and biotic stress. #2: Evaluate sustainable, environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional insecticides, including reduced-risk chemicals, microbial products, and botanical extracts for control of ambrosia beetles and scarabs. #3: Develop new application methods and strategies for ambrosia beetle and scarab control and to prevent their distribution to uninfested parts of the United States and abroad.

Approach:
The development and survival of Anomala orientalis (oriental beetle, OB) larvae will be evaluated on a variety of woody ornamental species. The relationship between constitutive and induced defensive compounds in the roots, along with total carbon and nitrogen levels, and development and survival of OB will be determined. OB larvae have caused considerable damage to trees and shrubs in ornamental nurseries and in production of small fruits such as blueberries and cranberries. Despite the damage this species causes in woody nursery and small fruit crops, there has been very little research evaluating trees and shrubs as hosts for OB. Species and varieties of trees and shrubs that are poor or marginal hosts would either not need protection from OB or acceptable levels of protection might be achieved by lower rates of insecticides. Data will be analyzed each season and adjustments will be made to experimental design if necessary. If we identify species that are especially good or poor hosts for OB, we will conduct additional testing on varieties within those species and closely related species to see if their quality as hosts is similar (good or poor). This information will be used to identify suites of characteristics (chemical compounds, nutritional, etc.) that make a woody plant a viable host for larval OB. This data could then be used by plant breeders to develop varieties resistant to OB.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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