Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens ResearchTitle: Microbiome of North American ash for biocontrol of emerald ash borer
|YAGER, GLAIRE - Cornell University|
|MOGOUONG, JUDITH - Cornell University|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Ash (Fraxinus) are economically and culturally important deciduous trees in North America, and host to numerous native wood boring beetles and their parasitoids. However, little is known about their microbiota and, more specifically, endophytic insect pathogens that grow in the living phloem and leaves. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB;Agrilus planipennis), an invasive woodboring beetle from Asia, threatens all native North American ash species. It is unknown whether EAB, like bark beetles, can carry and introduce fungi into their galleries. We collected infested gallery phloem tissue, healthy phloem tissue, insect frass, and adult insects from public lands in two regions of New York, sampling trees of different sizes and levels of EAB infestation across two years. Fungi cultured on a variety of media included several potential insect-pathogenic species from families Cordicipitaceae, Ophiocordycepitaceae, and Clavicipitaceae, as well as other insect-associated fungi that may be either plant pathogens (Ophiostomataceae) or saprophytic wood rot (Peniophoraceae) fungi. We also observed differences in composition and diversity of fungi found in trees with high versus low EAB infestation. Our results identify fungi with potential roles in ash decline, as well entomopathogenic endophytes that could represent a novel approach for biocontrol of this invasive insect.