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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISCOVERY AND CHARACTERIZATION OF PLANT PATHOGENS FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF INVASIVE WEEDS FROM THEIR NATIVE RANGE

Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science

Title: Comparing predictions from mixed model equations with host range determinations from historical disease evaluation data of two previously released weed biological control pathogens

Authors
item Berner, Dana
item Bruckart, William

Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 17, 2011
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Citation: Berner, D.K., Bruckart, W.L. 2012. Comparing predictions from mixed model equations with host range determinations from historical disease evaluation data of two previously released weed biological control pathogens. Biological Control. 60:207-215.

Interpretive Summary: Determination of susceptibility among native and commercially important plant species (host range) is essential to ascertain the safety of a classical biological weed control agent and successfully petition for release of the agent in a non-native area. Recently a quantitative genetics approach was adapted to evaluation of host ranges of biological control fungi by incorporating genetic relatedness, in the form of DNA sequences, with disease evaluation data among target and non-target plants. This approach was shown to have multiple advantages over other evaluation methods and was also more conservative and safer than other analytical methods. However, there were calls to provide some other validation. In this study, the host-ranges of two biological weed control fungi previously released in the USA were evaluated with this approach and historical host-range data. Results confirmed the narrow host range of the two fungi and provided further validation of the use of the approach in host-range determination.

Technical Abstract: Host range determination is essential to determine the safety of a classical biological weed control agent and successfully petition for release of the agent in a non-native area. Recently Henderson’s mixed model equations (MME) were adapted to evaluation of host ranges of biological control pathogens by incorporating genetic relatedness, in the form of DNA sequences, with disease evaluation data among target and non-target plants to generate best linear unbiased predictors (BLUPs) of disease reaction among these plant species. The MME were shown to have multiple advantages over other evaluation methods and were also more conservative and safer than other analytical methods. However, there were calls to provide some other validation. In this study, the host-ranges of two biological weed control pathogens previously released in the USA were evaluated with the MME and historical host-range data. Results showed that: BLUPs conformed to currently available information on host range; the BLUPs were accurate predictors of host range; no unforeseen non-target effects could be expected in nature; and confirmation of the narrow host range of the two pathogens provided further validation of the use of the MME in host-range determination.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014
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