Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2007
Publication Date: 4/22/2007
Citation: Bruckart, W.L., Berner, D.K., Luster, D.G. 2007. A quarter of a century of contributions from the fdwsru in biological control of weeds. International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds.
Technical Abstract: Evaluation of foreign plant pathogens for biological control of weeds was initiated at the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in the mid 1970s. Justification for locating this research effort at the Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit (FDWSRU), Ft. Detrick, is a containment greenhouse facility that enables evaluation of exotic pathogens of crop plants and weeds. Since transfer to ARS, three foreign weed pathogens evaluated in containment have been introduced into the U.S. under permit from federal and state regulatory organizations. These pathogens, all rust fungi, are: Puccinia chondrillina, P. carduorum, and P. jaceae var. solstitialis. The program at FDWSRU has since expanded to include 2.5 research scientists with full technical support. A number of new projects have been initiated, including rust fungi and facultative saprophytes on Salsola tragus (2 pathogens), Acroptilon repens (2 pathogens), and Crupina vulgaris (2 pathogens). A new thrust into the use of floral smut fungi on Silybum marianum and Carduus thistles is being pursued, as well. Several new pathogens also have been discovered in Greece, Hungary, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the U.S. This paper is a review of developments, accomplishments, and current and anticipated research at the FDWSRU.