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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PROTECTION OF SUBTROPICAL AND TROPICAL AGRICULTURE COMMODITIES AND ORNAMENTALS FROM EXOTIC INSECTS Title: Susceptibility of Persea spp. and other Lauraceae to attack by redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae)

Authors
item Pena, J -
item Carrillo, D -
item Duncan, R -
item Capinera, J -
item Brar, G -
item Mclean, S -
item Arpaia, M -
item Focht, E -
item Smith, J -
item Hughes, M -
item Kendra, Paul

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 14, 2012
Publication Date: September 30, 2012
Citation: Pena, J.E., Carrillo, D., Duncan, R.E., Capinera, J.L., Brar, G., Mclean, S., Arpaia, M.L., Focht, E., Smith, J.A., Hughes, M., Kendra, P.E. 2012. Susceptibility of Persea spp. and other Lauraceae to attack by redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Florida Entomologist. 95(3):783-787.

Interpretive Summary: The redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB), an Asian wood-borer, was first discovered in the U.S. near Savannah, Georgia in 2002. RAB is an effective vector of the fungal pathogen that causes laurel wilt (LW), a lethal disease of trees in the family Lauraceae in the southeastern U.S. Native Persea spp. appear to be preferred hosts, and LW is responsible for high mortality of redbay (P.borbonia), swampbay (P. palustris), and sassafras (Sassafras albidum) in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. As LW encroaches upon the Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem in south-central Florida, silkbay (P. humilis) is also beginning to die. Additional species susceptible to LW include avocado (P. americana), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), and other woody Lauraceae. A scientist at SHRS (Miami, FL) worked collaboratively with the University of Florida on three studies evaluating susceptibility to RAB and LW in 13 cultivars of West Indian avocado, 10 non-commercial Persea spp., 1 Beilschmidia sp. (a genus closely related to Persea), and California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica, a dominant tree along the U.S. Pacific coast). Results indicated that all avocado cultivars and many other New World spp. within the Lauraceae are potentially at risk for attack by X. glabratus and should be evaluated for susceptibility to LW. This information will be used by avocado growers (FL, CA, Mexico) and will help identify native Lauraceae that may potentially serve as reservoirs for RAB and the LW pathogen.

Technical Abstract: Redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB), Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), a native of Asia, was first discovered in the U.S. near Savannah, Georgia in 2002. RAB is an effective vector of Raffaelea lauricola T.C. Harr., Fraedrich & Aghayeva that causes laurel wilt (LW), a lethal disease of trees in the Lauraceae in the southeastern USA. Native Persea spp. appear to be preferred hosts, and LW is responsible for high mortality of redbay [P.borbonia (L.) Spreng.], swampbay [P. palustris (Raf.) Sarg.] and sassafras [Sassafras albidum (Nuttall) Nees] in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. As LW encroaches upon the Lake Wales Ridge ecosystem in south-central Florida, silkbay (P. humilis Nash) is also beginning to die. Additional species susceptible to LW include avocado (P. americana Mill.), spicebush [Lindera benzoin (L.) Blume], and other woody Lauraceae. Three studies were conducted to evaluate susceptibility to RAB and LW in 13 West Indian avocado cultivars, 10 non-commercial Persea spp., 1 Beilschmidia sp. (a genus related to Persea), and California bay laurel [Umbellularia californica (Hook. & Arn.) Nutt.]. Results indicated that all avocado cultivars and many other New World spp. within the Lauraceae are potentially at risk for attack by X. glabratus and warrant evaluation for susceptibility to LW.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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