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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Investigate the biology of the Arundo scale, a key candidate biological control agent for Arundo donax. El objetivo de este proyecto de colaboración en investigación es estudiar la biología de la cochinilla de Arundo, una especie seleccionada como posible candidata para ser utilizada en como agente de control de Arundo donax.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Sites on the Mediterranean coast of Spain will be established to investigate the biology of the Arundo scale, Rhizaspidiotus donacis. The investigator will document the impact, life cycle, natural enemies, and dispersal of the scale on A. donax. Se seleccionarán localidades de la costa Mediterránea española donde se centrará la investigación sobre la cochinilla de Arundo, Rhizaspidiotus donacis. El trabajo a desarrollar se centrará en el impacto, ciclo de vida, enemigos naturales y dispersión de la cochinilla sobre A. donax.

3. Progress Report:
This report documents the collaboration with the University of Alicante to investigate the biology and impact of the Arundo scale, Rhizaspidiotus donacis, a biological control agent of the invasive weed Arundo donax. In Spain, the scale has two generations per year and significantly reduces the length of stems and the weight of rhizomes (roots). A comparison of infested and un-infested rhizomes showed that infested rhizomes weighed 50% less on average than those with no Arundo scale. The generation times of the scale in the Mediterranean field locations varied based on the monthly mean temperature and rainfall amounts. In laboratory studies, the scale showed a strong preference for its own local genotype of A. donax as compared to other phylogenetically more unrelated genotypes of its host plant A. donax. Three scientific manuscripts reporting this work have been published by the collaborator. The graduate student funded by the research completed her doctorate in January 2012. The collaborator will continue to host USDA-ARS personnel from the European Biological Control Laboratory while they are collecting Arundo scale for shipment to the U.S. Note: This project was formerly associated with the Weslaco project 6204-22000-022-00D, which expired.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 2/23/2016
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