1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To obtain biological control agents of air potato, skunk vine, and old-world climbing fern.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Survey air potato, skunk vine, and old-world climbing fern populations in various parts of Nepal, conduct preliminary studies on biology and taxonomy, rear, and ship (collaborators will obtain shipping permit from appropriate Nepalese agency) to USDA/ARS Quarantine Facility #106 (using Principal Investigator's [PI] APHIS permit) for further evaluation of their host specificity and biocontrol efficacy. Collaborators from the Nepal Agricultural Research Council will work according to published criteria and in close contact with the PI.
This research relates to inhouse Objective 5: Release and establish the populations of released agents, evaluate efficacy, and corroborate environmental safety of approved biological control agents and develop and distribute the technology to customers in order to expedite their adoption and deployment.
Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Entomology Division has collected air potato and skunk vine plants from the field and planted in the research station at Khumaltar, they will use these plants to rear herbivorous insects for initial host range testing. Because of the delay in monsoon collection of air potato and skunk vine biocontrol agent was delayed. Recently, Lilioceris cheni has been collected and reared in NARC facility. Shipping labels from APHIS has been obtained and will be mailed to NARC. First shipment of clean colonies (second generation of lab reared adults) of the beetles will be received at the USDA/ARS/IPRL Quarantine Facility #106 during the 3rd week of August 2012. The biological control agent production, initial host testing and shipment of clean colonies has been directly monitored by principal investigator thru regular communication with the collaborating NARC scientists thru telephone and email systems.