|OBCL - EBCL|
“Grassmapper” website. Scientists at the ARS European Biological Control Laboratory in Montpellier, France (with cooperators at Boise State University, Idaho, and Biotechnology and Biological Control Agency, Rome, Italy) created the website www.grassmapper.org for scientists, land managers, and the general public to identify and report the presence of invasive grass species across North America. Information about three widespread grasses (ventenata, medusahead, and cheatgrass) is presented. An interactive map of ventenata grass is available and will soon be accompanied by the other two species. The website will increase public awareness of ventenata grass, a relatively new invader in western rangelands. Mapping data provided by users will help researchers track dispersal of the weed.
Use of molecular genetics to identify mosquitoes and sandflies. Mosquitoes and sandflies are important pests and vectors of disease of humans and domestic animals. Taxonomic identification of adult specimens is extremely difficult and often impossible for immature stages, but is critical for developing appropriate species-specific management strategies. Scientists at the USDA-ARS European Biological Control Laboratory in Thessaloniki, Greece, developed a new technique, Mild-Vectolysis, which extracts DNA from mosquito or sandfly specimens without damaging their external morphological characters. This provides a fast and inexpensive method to identify specimens while preserving them for further morphological study.