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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Research Project #437847

Research Project: Developing a Conservation Biological Control Strategy for Asian citrus psyllid

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Project Number: 6034-22320-007-03-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2020
End Date: Mar 31, 2025

Objective:
The overall objective is to determine whether incorporating ‘insectary plants’ into target landscapes, such as citrus groves and residential citrus, will significantly increase the mortality of Asian citrus psyllid. Specific objectives: 1. To determine whether incorporating ‘insectary plants’ will result in a significant decrease in the recruitment and survivorship of immature Asian citrus psyllid. 2. To determine whether psyllid survivorship is correlated with distance between insectary plants and citrus trees. 3. To determine whether citrus trees treated with plant signaling hormones (methyl jasmonate and salicylic acid) leads to higher levels/more diverse natural enemy faunas; and, if so, does this lead to higher levels of psyllid mortality 4. To make the results available to visitors to Cooperator and to the public.

Approach:
The Cooperator, a not-for-profit public display garden, is permitting ARS to use their grounds to conduct experiments on the biological control of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). ARS will purchase materials and supplies needed for the experiments and ARS personnel will conduct the experiments. Planter boxes containing ‘insectary plants’ will be planted on site and tested for their ability to attract and support natural enemies of ACP. ‘Insectary plants’ are plant species that provide pollen, nectar and alternate prey to the natural enemies of the psyllid. Impact on ACP populations will be measured on sentinel ACP host plants placed at discrete distances from the insectary plant arrays. Tests will be conducted to determine whether application of plant signaling compounds (methyl jasmonate and salicylic acid) to the ACP host plants influences the levels of ACP and ACP natural enemies on the plants. ARS will work with Cooperator to provide educational materials for visitors to the garden on biological control and the impact of invasive species on agriculture and the local environment.