1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To facilitate and perform discovery and development of biological control agents against invasive weeds.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Core funding supports detailed work on five weeds currently identified as primarily important. If additional weed species are targeted then the budget will be adjusted accordingly. The basic pattern of the work is to. 1)perform literature and personal review of existing information in order to optimize chances of finding weeds in their native ranges where biological control agents are most likely to be encountered,. 2)find populations of the weed species in its native range,. 3)perform surveys for herbivorous insects, mites, and pathogens associated with the weed species,. 4)test efficacy and specificity of possible biological control agents in field trials in the native range as well as in facilities in Italy,. 5)ship potential biological control agents under appropriate permits to quarantine facilities of cooperating stakeholders,. 6)report results annually and comprehensively in English in a format that can be widely distributed by ARS, and. 7)publish results in peer reviewed journals as appropriate. This work will be performed in cooperation with EBCL staff as appropriate and involve other collaborators as determined necessary by BBCA.
Cooperative exploration and host range evaluation research was conducted by the Biotechnology and Biological Control Agency (Rome) on EBCL target weeds. During the reporting period, BBCA worked on natural enemies of five target weeds: yellow starthistle, perennial pepperweed, Russian thistle, Scotch thistle, and French broom. Open field and caged field host range evaluations and basic biological studies of 14 different candidate agents of these targets were conducted in the laboratory in Italy and at field sites in Turkey. Additional details about the research can be found in the report for the parent project 0212-22000-24-00D, DISCOVERY, BIOLOGY, AND ECOLOGY OF NATURAL ENEMIES OF INSECT PESTS OF CROP AND URBAN AND NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS. To discuss project progress, the ADODR corresponded during the year by electronic mail, telephone and personal meetings with the cooperators at EBCL to discuss the project progress.