Submitted to: Archives of Biological Sciences, Belgrade
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2007
Publication Date: 12/22/2007
Citation: Pecinar, I., Stevanovic, B., Rector, B.G., Petanovic, R. 2007. Anatomical Injuries Induced by Leipotrix dipsacivagus Petanovic & Rector on Cut-leaf Teasel, Dipsacus laciniatus L. (Dipsacaceae). Archives of Biological Sciences, Belgrade. Interpretive Summary: Two invasive species of teasels (Dipsacus spp.) have become problem weeds in the USA and are the targets of a USDA-ARS classical biological control program. One candidate for biological control of teasels is a phytophagous mite, Leipothrix dipsacivagus, which is a new species that was discovered in Serbia in 2005 by an EBCL scientist and local collaborators. This study documents the physiological impact of this mite on the target plant at the cellular level. Infestation of teasel plants by the mite resulted in stunting and conspicuous damage to leaf tissues. The mite can cause serious damage to the plant and appears to have good potential as a biological control agent of invasive teasels in the USA.
Technical Abstract: This study highlighted some conspicuous structural malformations of the native Eurasian plant Dipsacus laciniatus L. (cutleaf teasel, Dipsacaceae) provoked by infestation by recently described eriophyid mite, Leipothrix dipsacivagus Petanovic & Rector. The most striking structural changes induced by mites feeding on the plant were the stunted growth habit of the infested plants and conspicuous injuries to their leaf tissues. We believe that due to the significant damage caused to D. laciniatus, as well as the narrow host range of L. dipsacivagus, this mite has excellent potential as a biological control agent of invasive teasels in the USA.