0991 Use of cryptic species for biological control of weeds

Wednesday, November 19, 2008: 9:55 AM
Room A16, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Lincoln Smith , Invasive Species and Pollinator Health, USDA - ARS, Albany, CA
Massimo Cristofaro , Agenzia nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l'energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile (ENEA), Centro Ricerche Casaccia, Labor, Rome, Italy
Alessio De Biase , Dept. of Biology and Biotechnologies ‘‘Charles Darwin’’, Sapienza Rome University, Rome, Italy
Behavioral experiments have revealed that some species of insects previously thought to attack a range of plant species really consist of multiple biotypes that each have more restricted host plant specificity. Molecular genetic tools enable us to confirm that such biotypes are reproductively isolated. Recent examples include Psylliodes chalcomera (Chrysomelidae), Ceutorhynchus assimilis (Curculionidae) and Trichosirocalus horridus (Curculionidae). However, it is critical to develop methods to confirm the identity of live insects before releasing them as classical biological control agents. The existence of stable biotypes or cryptic species may greatly increase the number of prospective biological control agents available; however, it also creates new challenges for the governmental regulation of such agents.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.34818