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Title: Risk assessment and stakeholder perceptions in novel biological control agent release: YST as a case study

item Bruckart, William
item WARNER, KEITH - Santa Clara University

Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/17/2009
Publication Date: 8/1/2009
Citation: Bruckart, W.L., Warner, K.D. 2009. Risk assessment and stakeholder perceptions in novel biological control agent release: YST as a case study. Phytopathology. 99(6):S175.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The objectives of risk assessment are to learn about whether a candidate agent would be safe to use in the environment where release is planned, and to present such information in a clear, understandable format to regulators, stakeholders, and the public. Plant pathogens evaluated for biological control of weeds are, by definition both plant pests and pesticides, and for each of these categories there is a unique set of regulations. Risk assessment, therefore, is central to development of plant pathogens for weed management, particularly if the candidate is of foreign origin. Both objectives were achieved when permit was issued in 2003 for the release of Puccinia jaceae, a rust fungus collected in Turkey, for biological control of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), an invasive plant of major importance in the western U.S. Risk assessment approaches that led to this achievement had been defined over 30 years ago. Recently, statistical and molecular tools have become readily available to scientists in biological control that should facilitate development, analysis, interpretation, and communication of data concerning candidate agent safety. The application of molecular information and the use of mixed model analysis are being applied currently to risk assessments of Russian thistle (Salsola tragus) pathogens.