Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Research Project #427526

Research Project: Role of Kinship in Host Plant Selection by Invasive Ambrosia Beetles and its Implications for Control

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Project Number: 6062-21430-003-15-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2014
End Date: Sep 1, 2019

Objective:
To (1) determine genetic relatedness among granulate ambrosia beetles, Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motsch.) [Coleoptera: Curculionidae] using microsatellites and (2) determine how kinship guides beetle host plant selection and infestation within ornamental tree nurseries.

Approach:
Adult foundresses that have established brood galleries will be excavated from inside ornamental trees. Anticipate gathering ~4 – 8 female Xylosandrus (X.)crassiusculus from 20 randomly selected trees. All specimens will be preserved at -80 degree Celsius and Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extracted at the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Reseearch Service Poplarville, MS, Location. Louisiana State University personnel will then develop microsatellites for X. crassiusculus using at least 5 – 15 unlinked polymorphic loci. Two alternative hypotheses are proposed. (1) Females infesting a tree are more closely related than females in other trees, that is , kin selection (sib-matings) may result in non-random attacks on host trees. (2) Some degree of non-random aggregation among dispersing females enhances the efficacy of barriers (kaolin, kaolin+pyrethroid) that bar female X. crassiusculus from colonizing trees.