Center for Plant Health Science and Technology

Buzzards Bay, MA, United States

Center for Plant Health Science and Technology

Buzzards Bay, MA, United States
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Haack R.A.,Northern Research Station | Britton K.O.,Forest Service | Brockerhoff E.G.,New Zealand Forest Research Institute | Cavey J.F.,Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Numerous bark- and wood-infesting insects have been introduced to new countries by international trade where some have caused severe environmental and economic damage. Wood packaging material (WPM), such as pallets, is one of the high risk pathways for the introduction of wood pests. International recognition of this risk resulted in adoption of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM15) in 2002, which provides treatment standards for WPM used in international trade. ISPM15 was originally developed by members of the International Plant Protection Convention to "practically eliminate" the risk of international transport of most bark and wood pests via WPM. The United States (US) implemented ISPM15 in three phases during 2005-2006. We compared pest interception rates of WPM inspected at US ports before and after US implementation of ISPM15 using the US Department of Agriculture AQIM (Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Monitoring) database. Analyses of records from 2003-2009 indicated that WPM infestation rates declined 36-52% following ISPM15 implementation, with results varying in statistical significance depending on the selected starting parameters. Power analyses of the AQIM data indicated there was at least a 95% chance of detecting a statistically significant reduction in infestation rates if they dropped by 90% post-ISPM15, but the probability fell as the impact of ISPM15 lessened. We discuss several factors that could have reduced the apparent impact of ISPM15 on lowering WPM infestation levels, and suggest ways that ISPM15 could be improved. The paucity of international interception data impeded our ability to conduct more thorough analyses of the impact of ISPM15, and demonstrates the need for well-planned sampling programs before and after implementation of major phytosanitary policies so that their effectiveness can be assessed. We also present summary data for bark- and wood-boring insects intercepted on WPM at US ports during 1984-2008.


Booth E.,University of Maine, United States | Booth E.,Center for Plant Health Science and Technology | Alyokhin A.,University of Maine, United States
American Journal of Potato Research | Year: 2016

Agricultural systems are often simultaneously impacted by multiple stressors. In our study, we investigated the effects of two commonly occurring viruses of potato, Potato virus Y (PVY) and Potato leafroll virus (PLRV) on host plant selection and utilization across various spatial scales by the Colorado potato beetle. Adult beetles selected PLRV-infected foliage in the cage choice trails, and larvae that fed exclusively on PLRV-infected foliage developed into larger adults. PVY-infected foliage was avoided in the cage trials and had no effect on the weight of developing adults. In field trials, preference and utilization of potato plants was more dependent on plant size than on virus infection. These results demonstrate that while virus-infected plants can cause physiological changes that influence beetle preference, beetle abundance and/or distribution is driven by a more complex array of factors at the field level. Additionally, this study demonstrates the importance of investigating the applicability of laboratory findings at the field level. © 2016 The Potato Association of America


Ciomperlik M.A.,Center for Plant Health Science and Technology | Robinson D.G.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Gibbs I.H.,Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food | Fields A.,The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus | And 2 more authors.
Florida Entomologist | Year: 2013

Laboratory bioassays and caged field trials were conducted to compare the acute toxicities of molluscicide formulations on the neonate, juvenile, and adult development stages of giant African snail (GAS) Lissachatina fulica (Bowdich 1822) and 3 non-target snail species in Barbados. Nine commercially available molluscicides, diatomaceous earth, and a kaolin clay product (Surround WP) were evaluated. High levels of mortality to neonate GAS were seen in all the laboratory molluscicide bioassays except for Surround and diatomaceous earth. The highest mortality rates to neonate GAS were observed from Durham granules and Slugfest treatments tested during field trials. Deadline, Durham granules, Metarex, and Orcal pellets caused the highest rates of mortality to juvenile GAS in our field trials. For adult GAS several molluscicides including Blitzem, Deadline, Durham Granules, Mesurol 75W, Metarex, Orcal pellet, and Slugfest caused greater than 95 % mortality in laboratory bioassays. Field trials showed that Durham granules and Slugfest yielded the highest mortality rates. Sluggo pellet, touted as an environmentally safe molluscicide, did not cause high rates of mortality to juvenile and adult GAS in our field trials, but did cause higher rates of mortality to neonate GAS than the control. The majority of the molluscicides tested in our trials were equally or more lethal to 3 non-target snail species than GAS. Our results identify several effective commercially available molluscicides that can be used to control incipient populations of GAS. However, our results show that the potential impact on non-target snail species during control or eradication programs may be considerable, causing substantial mortality regardless of what brand, active ingredient, or formulation is used.


Roda A.,Center for Plant Health Science and Technology | Kairo M.,University of Florida | Damian T.,Husbandry and Fisheries | Franken F.,Husbandry and Fisheries | And 3 more authors.
EPPO Bulletin | Year: 2011

Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, an important palm pest, was accidentally introduced into the Caribbean. A monitoring programme was established to determine the population level and distribution of infestations on Aruba and Curacao through the use of commercially available pheromone traps. Due to the small size of the islands and limited distribution of palms, eradication may be feasible using a combination of trapping, timely disposal of infested palms and curative and prophylactic chemical treatments. These studies on the pest in the Caribbean were used to help design a USDA plant health emergency response through the development of Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine New Pest Response Guidelines and provide an effective emergency response programme for other Caribbean Islands and the Americas. © 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 OEPP/EPPO.


Domingue M.J.,Pennsylvania State University | Imrei Z.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Lelito J.P.,Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service | Janik G.,Forest Research Institute | And 3 more authors.
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata | Year: 2013

Trapping approaches developed for the emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), were adapted for trapping several European oak buprestid species. These approaches included the use of natural leaf surfaces as well as green and purple plastic in sticky trap designs. Plastic surfaces were incorporated into novel 'branch-trap' designs that each presented two 5 × 9-cm2 rectangular surfaces on a cardboard structure wrapped around the leaves of a branch. We used visual adult Agrilus decoys in an attempt to evoke male mating approaches toward the traps. Our first experiment compared the attractiveness of visual characteristics of the surfaces of branch-traps. The second looked at the effect on trap captures of adding semiochemical lures, including manuka oil, (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol, and (Z)-9-tricosene. In total, 1 962 buprestid specimens including 14 species from the genus Agrilus were caught on 178 traps in a 22-day time-span. Overall, the green plastic-covered branch-traps significantly out-performed the other trap designs. We further found that the presence of an EAB visual decoy placed on the trap surface often increased captures on these green traps, but this effect was stronger for certain Agrilus species than for others. The visual decoy was particularly important for the most serious pest detected, Agrilus biguttatus Fabricius, which was captured 13 times on traps with decoys, but only once without a decoy. There were some small but significant effects of odor treatment on the capture of buprestids of two common species, Agrilus angustulus Illiger and Agrilus sulcicollis Lacordaire. There were also 141 Elateridae specimens on these traps, which were not influenced by trap type or decoys. The results suggest that small branch-traps of this nature can provide a useful new tool for monitoring of buprestids, which have the potential to be further optimized with respect to visual and olfactory cues. © 2013 The Netherlands Entomological Society.


Francese J.A.,Center for Plant Health Science and Technology | Fraser I.,Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service | Rietz M.L.,Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service | Crook D.J.,Center for Plant Health Science and Technology | And 2 more authors.
Canadian Entomologist | Year: 2010

In 2008 we compared numbers of emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, captured on glue-coated prism traps of different sizes (standard, double-length narrow, and quarter), colors (green and purple), and height in relation to the canopy of ash host trees (midcanopy (10-13m) and ground level (1.5 m)). Standard-size prismtraps caughtmore A. planipennis than did quarter-size prism traps, but catch per square metre of surface area did not differ significantly among the three trap sizes. Twenty percent of quarter-size prism traps failed to catch a single beetle, while all traps of the two larger sizes were successful. The larger traps therefore appear to be more useful as detection tools. In 2009 we compared purple and green standard-size prism traps at three heights: midcanopy (13 m), lower canopy (6 m), and ground (1.5 m). Green traps caught more adult emerald ash borers than did purple traps in the mid and lower canopy, but there was no difference between traps hung at 1.5m. The ratio ofmale to female adult emerald ash borers was also higher on green than on purple traps at all three heights. © 2010 Entomological Society of Canada.


Bauer L.S.,Northern Research Station | Duan J.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Gould J.R.,Center for Plant Health Science and Technology | Van Driesche R.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
Canadian Entomologist | Year: 2015

First detected in North America in 2002, the emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire; Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an invasive phloem-feeding beetle from Asia, has killed tens of millions of ash (Fraxinus Linnaeus; Oleaceae) trees. Although few parasitoids attack EAB in North America, three parasitoid species were found attacking EAB in China: the egg parasitoid Oobius agrili Zhang and Huang (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and two larval parasitoids Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and Spathius agrili Yang (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). In 2007, classical biological control of EAB began in the United States of America after release of these three species was approved. In 2013, release of the larval parasitoids was approved in Canada. Research continues at study sites in Michigan, United States of America where the establishment, prevalence, and spread of O. agrili and T. planipennisi have been monitored since 2008. However, establishment of S. agrili remains unconfirmed in northern areas, and its release is now restricted to regions below the 40th parallel. In 2015, approval for release of Spathius galinae Belokobylskij (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), an EAB larval parasitoid from the Russian Far East, may be granted in the United States of America. Researchers are guardedly optimistic that a complex of introduced and native natural enemies will regulate EAB densities below a tolerance threshold for survival of ash species or genotypes in forested ecosystems. © Entomological Society of Canada 2015.


Domingue M.J.,Pennsylvania State University | Lakhtakia A.,Pennsylvania State University | Pulsifer D.P.,Pennsylvania State University | Hall L.P.,Pennsylvania State University | And 8 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

Recent advances in nanoscale bioreplication processes present the potential for novel basic and applied research into organismal behavioral processes. Insect behavior potentially could be affected by physical features existing at the nanoscale level. We used nanobioreplicated visual decoys of female emerald ash borer beetles (Agrilus planipennis) to evoke stereotypical mate-finding behavior, whereby males fly to and alight on the decoys as they would on real females. Using an industrially scalable nanomolding process, we replicated and evaluated the importance of two features of the outer cuticular surface of the beetle's wings: structural interference coloration of the elytra by multilayering of the epicuticle and fine-scale surface features consisting of spicules and spines that scatter light into intense strands. Two types of decoys that lacked one or both of these elements were fabricated, one type nano-bioreplicated and the other 3D-printed with no bioreplicated surface nanostructural elements. Both types were colored with green paint. The light-scattering properties of the nano-bioreplicated surfaces were verified by shining a white laser on the decoys in a dark room and projecting the scattering pattern onto a white surface. Regardless of the coloration mechanism, the nano-bioreplicated decoys evoked the complete attraction and landing sequence of Agrilus males. In contrast, males made brief flying approaches toward the decoys without nanostructured features, but diverted away before alighting on them. The nano-bioreplicated decoys were also electroconductive, a feature used on traps such that beetles alighting onto them were stunned, killed, and collected.


Farris R.E.,Center for Plant Health Science and Technology
Journal of insect science (Online) | Year: 2010

The thrips Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) is an invasive pest that poses a significant economical threat to U.S. agriculture and trade. In this study, DNA sequence data and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were utilized to develop a molecular diagnostic marker for S. dorsalis. The DNA sequence variation from the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) was analyzed from various thrips species, including S. dorsalis. A primer set and polymerase chain reaction cycling parameters were designed for the amplification of a single marker fragment of S. dorsalis ITS2 rDNA. Specificity tests performed on ten thrips species, efficacy tests performed on fifteen S. dorsalis populations, and tests on primer sensitivity and robustness all demonstrated the diagnostic utility of this marker. This diagnostic PCR assay provides a quick, simple, and reliable molecular technique to be used in the identification of S. dorsalis.


PubMed | Center for Plant Health Science and Technology and Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Current microbiology | Year: 2016

Bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum is destructive to many plant species worldwide. The race 3 biovar 2 (r3b2) strains of R. solanacearum infect potatoes in temperate climates and are listed as select agents by the U.S. government. TaqMan-based real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) is commonly used in federal and state diagnostic laboratories over conventional PCR due to its speed and sensitivity. We developed the Rs16S primers and probe set and compared it with a widely used set (RS) for detecting R. solanacearum species complex strains. We also developed the RsSA3 primers and probe set and compared it with the previously published B2 and RsSA2 sets for specific detection of r3b2 strains. Both comparisons were done under standardized qPCR master mix and cycling conditions. The Rs16S and RS assays detected all 90 R. solanacearum species complex strains and none of the five outgroups, but the former was more sensitive than the latter. For r3b2 strain detection, the RsSA2 and RsSA3 sets specifically detected the 34 r3b2 strains and none of the 56 R. solanacearum non-r3b2 strains or out-group strains. The B2 set, however, detected five non-r3b2 R. solanacearum strains and was less sensitive than the other two sets under the same testing conditions. We conclude that the Rs16S, RsSA2, and RsSA3 sets are best suited under the standardized conditions for the detection of R. solanacearum species complex and r3b2 strains by TaqMan-based qPCR assays.

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