Fate of biological control introductions: monitoring an Australian fungal pathogen of grasshoppers in North America.

Abstract:

:In North America there are two generally recognized pathotypes (pathotypes 1 and 2) of the fungus Entomophaga grylli which show host-preferential infection of grasshopper subfamilies. Pathotype 3, discovered in Australia, has a broader grasshopper host range and was considered to be a good biocontrol agent. Between 1989 and 1991 pathotype 3 was introduced at two field sites in North Dakota. Since resting spores are morphologically indistinguishable among pathotypes, we used pathotype-specific DNA probes to confirm pathotype identification in E. grylli-infected grasshoppers collected at the release sites in 1992, 1993, and 1994. In 1992, up to 23% of E. grylli-infected grasshoppers of the subfamilies Melanoplinae, Oedipodinae, and Gomphocerinae were infected by pathotype 3, with no infections > 1 km from the release sites. In 1993, pathotype 3 infections declined to 1.7%. In 1994 grasshopper populations were low and no pathotype 3 infections were found. The frequency of pathotype 3 infection has declined to levels where its long-term survival in North America is questionable. Analyses of biocontrol releases are critical to evaluating the environmental risks associated with these ecological manipulations, and molecular probes are powerful tools for monitoring biocontrol releases.

authors

Bidochka MJ,Walsh SR,Ramos ME,St Leger RJ,Silver JC,Roberts DW

doi

10.1073/pnas.93.2.918

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

1996-01-23 00:00:00

pages

918-21

issue

2

eissn

0027-8424

issn

1091-6490

journal_volume

93

pub_type

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