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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361999

Research Project: Management and Biology of Arthropod Pests and Arthropod-borne Plant Pathogens

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Title: Native fungal pathogens drive collapse of a new invasive herbivore

item CLIFTON, ERIC - Cornell University
item Castrillo, Louela
item GRYGANSKI, ANDRII - L F Lambert Spawn Company
item HAJEK, ANN - Cornell University

Submitted to: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2019
Publication Date: 4/22/2019
Citation: Clifton, E., Castrillo, L.A., Gryganski, A., Hajek, A.E. 2019. Native fungal pathogens drive collapse of a new invasive herbivore. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116:9178-9180.

Interpretive Summary: The spotted lanternfly is an important exotic insect pest of numerous agricultural crops, including grape, apples and hops. As part of an effort to address questions on its biology and develop possible means of control, a survey was undertaken to determine natural pathogens attacking spotted lanternfly populations in Pennsylvania where it was first discovered in 2014. Initial results showed the presence of two fungal pathogens killing abundant numbers of the insect. These fungi were identified as Batkoa major and Beauveria bassiana. These data provide critical ground work in future studies on the impact of native biological control agents on this invasive pest and in developing an effective pest management strategy against it.

Technical Abstract: Two North American fungal pathogens caused a co-epizootic leading to localized collapse of a dense population of the newly invasive planthopper pest, the spotted lanternfly (SLF; Lycorma delicatula), in the eastern USA. The pathogens partitioned the host source, with a majority of SLF on tree trunks killed by Batkoa major while cadavers of SLF killed by Beauveria bassiana were usually found on the ground. The future will show if these pathogens will be drivers in boom-bust cycles or will lead to a more permanent population collapse of this new invasive species.