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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Optimization of Methods for Mass-Rearing Newly Introduced Parasitoids for Biocontrol of Emerald Ash Borer

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research

Project Number: 8010-22000-023-19
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 01, 2012
End Date: Jun 15, 2015

Objective 1: Determine the effect of host larval stage, host density and host to parasitoid ratio, on host attack rate and critical fitness parameters of EAB larval parasitoids (Spathius sp and/or Tetrastichus planipennisi). Objective 2: Determine the optimal temperature and photoperiod for host-attack rate (parasitism), and parasitoid progeny survival and development. Objective 3: Develop and ring-test standard rearing protocol for mass rearing high quality EAB parasitoids.

We will use the tropical ash-based method to rear EAB larvae for tests with EAB larval parasitoids: Spathius sp (a newly imported gregarious, ectoparasitoid) and/or T. planipennisi (a gregarious endoparasitoids). Freshly cut tropical ash logs will be infested with fertilized EAB eggs laid on strips of un-bleached coffee filter paper. EAB egg-infested logs will be then placed into ventilated plastic boxes, and incubated under normal rearing conditions (27oC; RH 45 - 65%, and photoperiod L:D=16:8 hrs) prior to use in different tests for Objectives 1 and 2. A standardized size of the tropical ash logs (2.5 cm in diameter x 20 cm in length) will be used to rear EAB larvae for different tests. Optimal host larval stage, density, host to parasitoid ratio, temperature and photoperiod for the production of the fittest and most fecund parasitoids will be determined independently in a series of laboratory assays.

Last Modified: 9/5/2015
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