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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Fundamental Ornamental Research to Determine Key Ecological Factors Impacting Control of Invasive Insects in the Southern United States

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Project Number: 6404-21430-002-09
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 08, 2013
End Date: Jul 07, 2018

Objective:
Two horticultural entomological studies are proposed: 1) to conduct life-history analysis of the new and invasive insect pest, the Spotted-Wing Drosophila (SWD) to determine if key ornamental plants grown in the southern USA may be susceptible to economic damage, and 2) to characterize and refine soil-incorporated insecticide applications to control imported fire ants (IFA) in container plants.

Approach:
For study 1) a variety of locally grown, common ornamental species will be examined to determine if Spotted-Wing Drosophila (SWD) is causing damage to plant structures. In particular, dogwoods, roses, and other common small-fruit species grown (esp. blue berry cultivars) in the Tennessee Valley will be examined. Adult monitoring traps will be deployed to determine if and when SWD are present in a given area. If SWD is detected, then standard life-history analysis will be performed for the infected plants(s). Special emphasis will be to determine if the infected host is a suitable reproductive host for SWD. For study 2), a leachate recovery system has been designed at the USDA-ARS-Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory for evaluating container substrates and plant growth inside a greenhouse. At least 3 alternative soil-substrates will be selected for studies using soil-incorporated insecticides. Soil-incorporation of insecticides will be conducted based on common established quarantine treatments for Imported Fire Ant (IFA) control. Bioassays will be conducted to determine the interaction of alternative soil-substrates and efficacy of various insecticides to control IFA.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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