Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research
Project Number: 2060-22000-023-01-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jun 1, 2010
End Date: May 31, 2015
Search for candidate biological control agents of exotic, invasive weeds of the western U.S. in the Mediterranean Basin and central Asia and study the candidates’ host-specificity and impact on the target weed.
Natural enemies (e.g. herbivores, pathogens) will be collected on target weeds in their native range. Characteristics of the natural enemy infestation, such as relative abundance, phenology, and impact on the target weed will be recorded. Natural enemies will be reared and identified by taxonomic specialists and assessed for their potential as biological control agents through host-specificity testing on non-target plant species. A list of test plant species for medusahead rye biological control candidates has been developed and submitted to TAG (USDA-APHIS Technical Advisory Group). The primary goal of this SCA is to discover and develop candidate biological control agents that are highly host-specific and damaging to medusahead rye.