Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 7, 2003
Publication Date: January 13, 2004
Citation: Bruckart, W.L., Luster, D.G. 2004. Regulatory approval processes for release of puccinia spp. for biological control of carduus and centaurea spp. in the united states. International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds. CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, Australia, p. 648. Technical Abstract: Puccinia carduorum and P. jaceae var. solstitialis have been evaluated and proposed for introduction into the United States (US) for biological control of musk thistle (Carduus nutans) and yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), respectively. In each case, limited non-target infections were noted under containment greenhouse conditions. Also in each case, a related Puccinia species from the US was used in greenhouse comparisons with the candidate agent to resolve questions about potential non-target effects in nature. A strain of P. carduorum already present on slenderflower thistle (Carduus tenuiflorus) in California, USA, was used in comparison with the candidate isolate from musk thistle. The YST rust infected safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) under greenhouse conditions, and a US isolate of safflower rust, Puccinia carthami, was used for comparison. During each risk assessment, interest groups were informed about conclusions that non-target species would not likely be damaged by the use of either organism. Artichoke and safflower growers in California and representatives of the US Fish & Wildlife Service (F&WS) working with listed (Endangered or Threatened) plant species were included as contacts. All requests for additional tests were honored. The state departments of agriculture in Virginia and California, where releases were proposed, also provided approval to federal regulators. Proposals for release of each candidate also were reviewed by the Technical Advisory Group for Biological Control of Weeds (TAG) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), based on the recommendation of the TAG. A field study for P. carduorum was approved for one location in Virginia, and the rust has subsequently spread across the US to California. Notice of the planned use of has been published in the Federal Register for comment. A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), thus concluding the approval process, is expected from APHIS.(Releases of P. jaceae are planned for three YST-infested sites in CA with differing microclimate environments.