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Research Project: Exploration for Natural Enemies in China for Citrus psyllid in the U.S.

Location: OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH ENGAGEMENT AND COOPERATION

Project Number: 0210-22310-012-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Sep 1, 2020
End Date: Aug 31, 2025

Objective:
Objective 1: Discover, identify and initiate the development of new biological control agents for citrus psyllid [NP304, C3, PS 3A] Sub-objective 1.A: Setup malaise traps to collect insects in representative geographical locations in Yunnan and Guangdong provinces in China. Sub-objective 1.B: Apply DNA metabarcoding technology for high throughput analysis of the collected samples, establish corresponding DNA barcode database. Sub-objective 1.C: Use sentinel and wild egg masses/ nymphs of citrus psyllid to examine parasitism and the species composition of natural enemies. Sub-objective 1.D: Field survey and collecting predators observed to be actively feeding on ACP, and parasitoids emerging from ACP. Objective 2: Evaluate the biocontrol potential of biocontrol agents of citrus psyllid under laboratory and field conditions and develop the technology of mass rearing. [NP304, C3, PS 3B 3C] Sub-objective 2.A: Evaluate the biocontrol potential of biocontrol agents of citrus psyllid under laboratory and field conditions. Suitability and preference of predators. Sub-objective 2.B: Develop the technology for mass rearing of some biocontrol agents.

Approach:
Survey for, collect and identify natural enemies of agricultural and landscape pests. Make field collections, establish laboratory colonies when needed, and ship candidate agents to the U.S. for further evaluation. Conduct preliminary host specificity tests on promising parasites, predators, and beneficial microorganism. Collect, colonize, and ship to the U.S., candidates found to be safe. Cooperate with USDA and State laboratories in future collections for shipment and evaluation for release. Collect natural enemies attacking pests at differing host densities and climatic zones. All natural enemies selected for shipment will be sent directly to State or Federal quarantine facilities in the U.S. for further evaluation. Both Chinese and American scientists share the same right of obtaining biological control agents collected from the two countries. Assist in obtaining the necessary regulatory agency permissions for exporting live material from China.