Submitted to: Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 8, 2005
Publication Date: February 8, 2005
Citation: Bruckart, W.L., Luster, D.G., Villegas, B., Woods, D. 2005. Deployment of puccinia jaceae for biological control of yellow starthistle in california. Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts, in Lawrence, KS. Technical Abstract: Puccinia jaceae, an host specific rust fungus originally from Turkey, was released in California for biological control of yellow starthistle (YST, Centaurea solstitialis) under permit from the USDA, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (PPQ 526 Permit No. 47497). YST, an invasive weed that infests more than 5.8 million hectares in California alone, is a target of classical biological control. The rust fungus was released to complement insect agents already in place. It was determined to be safe after an extensive risk analysis (65 species of plants, 10 families). The first field inoculation of YST made in North America outside of containment was on July 9, 2003 in Napa County, California. Infection in the field was confirmed on July 30, 2003, and included both uredinia and telia. After the release in 2003, environmental conditions for spread in the field were unfavorable, but inoculum was increased on YST throughout the winter in a CDFA greenhouse in Sacramento, CA. In 2004, meetings were held with County Agricultural Commissioner representatives, and attendees were instructed about how to inoculate plants in the field and given inoculum and the tools needed to make releases. Plots (1 m2 each) were inoculated in 20 counties, and infections were confirmed in all of the counties (=26 sites). Plans for 2005 are to monitor current release sites for infection and spread of the fungus, and to make releases in another 20 counties in CA.