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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Research Project #438205

Research Project: Biology, Management and Reducing the Impact of the Spotted Lanternfly in Specialty Crops in the Eastern USA

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

Project Number: 8080-21000-032-016-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Jun 30, 2024

The objectives for this project are: 1) Quantify spotted lanternfly (SLF) impact on at-risk specialty crops and immediately develop management tactics to reduce the damage in areas where SLF is established; 2) Perform essential fundamental research on SLF basic biology, ecology, behavior, and biological control tactics contributing to long-term sustainable solutions; and 3) Deliver immediate SLF management solutions to specialty crop stakeholders and the general public via the Extension networks of the partnering land grant universities, USDA agencies, and Northeast Integrated Pest Management (NE-IPM).

For objective 1, we will: 1) Develop approved quarantine space for SLF at Fort Detrick, MD and Virginia Tech; 2) Assess damage from SLF feeding (e.g., reduced yield, vigor) and indirect damage (e.g., sooty mold growth, disease susceptibility, insect taint to grape and fruit fermentations) to fruit trees, vines, common border trees, and woody ornamentals in laboratory and field trials; 3) Conduct laboratory-based insecticide bioassays against SLF adults, nymphs, and eggs; 4) Conduct experimental pesticide trials in greenhouses, vineyards, and orchards against SLF adults, nymphs, and eggs; 5) Implement, test, and refine existing tools for biosurveillance and monitoring (e.g., traps, lures, DNA-based methods); and 6) Assess economic impact of SLF damage to impacted specialty crop industries. For objective 2, we will conduct studies to: 1) Determine host plant suitability for SLF development and survivorship in laboratory and field trials; 2) Develop a sustained SLF colony in quarantine; 3) Examine SLF feeding adaptations and plant responses to feeding; 4) Translate SLF Asian literature; 5) Determine dispersal capacity and behavior of SLF adults and nymphs; 6) Identify dispersal pathways and predict expected range of SLF using multiple modeling approaches; 7) Establish the role of host plant volatiles for SLF attraction and aggregation; 8) Verify if SLF can transmit microorganisms (e.g., pathogens) via feeding; 9) Characterize SLF reproduction and endosymbiont transmission, and establish potential for control via interruption; 10) Identify effective biological control (parasitoids and fungal pathogens); and 11) Examine potential SLF management with RNA inhibition. For objective 3, collaborators will: 1) Deliver management strategies and new knowledge to specialty crop stakeholders and the general public via synergized and innovative Extension programming produced by partnering universities, USDA, and NE IPM; 2) Provide SLF education and outreach opportunities using traditional (e.g., regional meetings, on-farm demonstrations) and web-based (e.g., webinars) platforms; 3) Develop and implement evaluation plans to direct research plans and assess efficacy, including economic evaluation, of project outputs and management recommendations; 4) Train the next generation of scientists and Extension educators to be better prepared for invasives using cross-training and lab rotations to promote cross-institutional collaborations and enhance coordination of Extension and research activities; and 5) Hold Stakeholder Advisory Panel meetings to evaluate accomplishments, direct and prioritize future research plans, and guide execution of objectives.