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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Newark, Delaware » Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit » Research » Research Project #436797

Research Project: Exploration for Asiatic Natural Enemies of the Emerald Ash Borer for Biological Control of the Pest in Southern U.S.

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit

Project Number: 8010-22000-031-08-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 30, 2019
End Date: Sep 30, 2022

Objective:
Objective 1: Survey, collection, and identification of natural enemies (parasitoids) associated with emerald ash borers and other buprestids infesting ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) and/or fringetrees (Chionanthus spp.) in central and southern China such as Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Sichuan, and/or Yunnan provinces. Objective 2: Investigate the role of natural enemies in regulating the pest populations in central and southern part of EAB’s native range.

Approach:
With the assistance of Chinese cooperators, ARS will identify and locate ash and/or fringe trees in central and southern China, and artificially stress these host trees three to six months prior to sampling of various live EAB stages (eggs and larvae). Sampling procedures will include collecting and examining loose bark from EAB infested trees for egg parasitoids and debarking EAB infested trees for larval parasitoids. These sampling methods have been proven effective and used for EAB parasitoid survey and collection in several published studies. Specimens of natural enemies, primarily egg and larval parasitoids that show significant impact on wood borers in girdled trees will be collected, identified and shipped to the USDA ARS quarantine facility in Newark, DE, for further evaluation of their potential for use in biological control programs. The USDA ARS Systematic Entomology Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, will assist in the taxonomy and identification of collected egg and larval parasitoids. The step-wise procedures are outlined below: (1) Locate at least two study sites where ash and/or fringe trees occur in central and southern China, and artificially stress these host trees three to six months prior to sampling of various live emerald ash borer stages (eggs and larvae). ARS will target to girdle 15 - 20 ash trees (DBH > 8 cm) at each study site from central and southern China (including Henan, Sichuan, and Shandong) in the spring or early summer of 2019. (2) Girdled ash or fringe trees will be felled and sampled for immature EAB live stages (eggs and larvae) and associated parasitoids in late fall of 2020 and/or spring of 2021. (3) In the spring or early summer of 2020, additional (20 – 40) ash and/or fringe trees will then be girdled, these girdled trees will then be felled and sampled in the fall of 2021 or the spring of 2021 for immature EAB stages and associated parasitoids. (4) In case that no naturally occurring emerald ash borers are found at the study sites, half of the girdled trees will be artificially infested with laboratory produced emerald ash borer eggs in early summer of 2020 and sampled in the fall of 2020 or early spring of 2021. (5) Natural enemies discovered from the field sampling will be brought to Chinese Academy of Forestry laboratory and packaged appropriately for hand-carry or shipment to the USDA ARS Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit for further evaluation.