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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Lauderdale, Florida » Invasive Plant Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #428526

Research Project: Biological Control of Melaleuca and Other Invasive Plants

Location: Invasive Plant Research Laboratory

Project Number: 6032-22000-012-13-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2014
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

Develop safe and effective biological control agents of Melaleuca quinquenervia and other invasive weeds.

The following are the performance steps of a classical biological investigation: 1. Survey and identify the pest's native range for list of herbivores that attack the pest plant. 2. Identify the best potential biocontrol agents based on field observations, prelimiary lab tests, and information from local scientists. 3. Conduct preliminary host-range tests on most promising candidate in native country to obtain permission to import to U.S. quarantine. 4. Complete host-range tests in U.S. quarantine to ensure safety of the organism relative to local native plants, agricultural crops, and ornamental. 5. Petition Federal Technical Advisory Group for permission to release in the U.S. also, obtain permission from necessary State agencies. 6. Culture agents that are approved to have sufficient numbers to release at fixef sites. Test release strategies to determine best method.