Skip to main content
ARS Home » Office of International Research Engagement and Cooperation » OBCL Research Highlights

Overseas Biological Control Laboratories (OBCL)
Research Highlights

OBCL Research Highlights banner.png

Directors of the Overseas Biological Control Laboratories publish news articles to highlight their current work and success stories.

Letter from the EBCL Director

Hello from Montpellier, France, Robert (Bob) Shatters, Director, USDA, ARS European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL).

EBCL Welcomes New Research Scientist: Dr. Maia Tsikolia

Welcome Dr. Tsikolia, a research chemist from the United States, who joined the European Biological Control Laboratory (EBCL) team at Thessaloniki, Greece.

EBCL Investigates Microbial Safety of Lepidapion argentatum, A Biocontrol Agent of the Invasive French Broom

French broom (Genista monspessulana; Fabaceae) is a leguminous shrub that is an invasive alien weed in California and nearby US states, but also in South America, Australia and New Zealand.

EBCL and California Department of Food and Agriculture Collaboration on Biological Control of the Diamondback Moth, A Major Pest of Cole Crops

The Diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (DBM) is a major pest of cultivated crucifers, particularly Brassica crops (cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, canola…).

Classical Arthropod Biological Control has its Roots in a U.S./French Collaboration that Dates Back to the 1870’s in Montpellier, France

In 1868, Jules E. Planchon, botanist at the University of Montpellier, and his colleagues Mr Bazille and Mr. Sahut, discovered the phylloxera aphid, as a parasite of the vine roots. 

Australian Biological Control Laboratory Establishes Biocontrol Collaborations with Thailand

The USDA ARS ABCL has established long-term collaborations with the Thailand Department of Agriculture (DOA) and the Thailand Royal Irrigation Department (RID).  This collaboration provides support in exploration to find biological control agents of US invasive weeds that are native to Thailand, particularly the climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum, downy rose myrtle, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, skunk vine, Paederia foetida and the aquatic weed, Hydrilla verticillata.

Sino-ABCL Develops Protocol to Rear Aprostocetus sp. For Roseau Cane Scale Biological Control

Extensive injury and die-off of Phragmites australis associated with the exotic roseau cane scale, Nipponaclerda biwakoensis.

FuEDEI and CONICET Begin to Examine the Role Water Hyacinth Planthopper Endosymbionts Play in Efficacy of the Planthopper as a Biological Control Agent

The water hyacinth planthopper, Megamelus scutellaris, is a natural enemy of this invasive aquatic plant that affects a great part of the freshwater courses in America and around the world.

FuEDEI Takes A Preliminary Look into the Biological Control of Pampas Grass, and Invasive Grass from South America

Invasive, non-native grasses are strongly associated with frequent and widespread wildfires in the U.S. These threaten valuable native environments where native plants are not as well adapted to short-intervals between fires, and hotter fires as are the invasive grasses.

Genetic and Ecological Data Shed New Clues on the Invasion History of Cactus Mealybug Pests in Puerto Rico

The Harrisia Cactus Mealybug (HCM) has been causing extreme damage and death to cacti in dry forests of the island of Puerto Rico (Figure 1, a, b), making it urgent to protect cacti species affected by the pest.

Exploring the Diversity of the Peanut Smut in its Native Range

The peanut smut, Thecaphora frezzii, is a soil-borne fungus that affects peanut production. The fungus causes damage ranging from the abnormal development of pods and seeds to the complete replacement of seeds by a sooty mass of spores.

Huanglongbing (HLB) Natural Enemy Variability in the Field

Argentina is one of the main world exporters of lemons and citrus in general, with a total of 140,000 productive hectares distributed in the northern part of the country. As in the U.S., these crops in Argentina are threatened by Citrus Greening Disease (Huanglongbing (HLB)), a bacterial disease of citrus transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Figure 1), that transmits the bacterium from plant to plant.