UK scientists identify important biological marker to control insect pests

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

A University of Kentucky research team led by entomologist Subba Reddy Palli discovered a protein that plays a critical role in the effectiveness of RNA interference in beetles. This finding could improve the efficiency of this pest control technology and help manage resistance.

RNA interference, RNAi, is a process where RNA molecules constrain gene expression. It is very efficient in insects belonging to the order Coleoptera, which includes a variety of major pests such as the corn rootworm, Colorado potato beetle, pine weevil, powderpost beetle, Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer. However, it has varying levels of efficiency in other insects. Continue reading

APHIS adds all of Minnehaha County, areas in Lincoln County, and areas in Turner County in South Dakota to the regulated areas for the emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding all of Minnehaha County in South Dakota and areas north of Highway 18 in Lincoln County and north of Highway 18 and east of Highway 19 in Turner County in South Dakota to the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (EAB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the expansion of EAB in these areas.

To prevent the spread of EAB to other states, the attached Federal Order outlines specific conditions for the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles from the quarantined area. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from the quarantined areas is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. Continue reading

Tree researchers gather in Lexington to share work in saving native trees

By Carol Lea Spence, University of Kentucky

Every day, American forests, both rural and urban, fight for their health against invasive species and pests. Scientists around the country are working diligently to protect and restore some iconic native species. Many of those scientific partners will gather in Lexington in mid-July to share their research findings.

The public also is welcome to come hear about their progress during a free, public seminar, Forests of the Future, 7 p.m. EDT July 11 at the Fayette County Extension office, 1140 Harry Sykes Way, Lexington. Continue reading

APHIS Adds All of Arkansas and Shawnee County, Kansas, to the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Regulated Area

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding all of Arkansas and Shawnee County, Kansas, to the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (EAB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the expansion of EAB in these areas.

To prevent the spread of EAB to other states, the attached Federal Order outlines specific conditions for the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles from the quarantined area in the state of Arkansas, and Shawnee County, Kansas. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from the quarantined areas in Arkansas and Shawnee County, Kansas, is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. Continue reading

Biological Sciences Technician for Emerald Ash Borer Biological Control Facility

Emerald Ash Borer Biological Control Rearing Facility is looking for a biological sciences technician to support research on emerald ash borer and the natural enemies (parasitoid wasps) that are being reared for release to control this invasive insect.  Research will concentrate on three areas: optimizing rearing production, production of EAB eggs and natural enemies to support field research, and evaluating the establishment of natural enemies throughout the U.S. The position will involve mostly laboratory work but will include trips to the field to collect ash logs and foliage for feeding the beetles. The incumbent will work at the EAB Biocontrol Laboratory in Brighton, MI, but this position is administered by North Carolina State University under a cooperative agreement.

The position is expected to be filled for several years at approximately $41,000 per year.  The incumbent will do the following:

1)     Assist the Emerald Ash Borer Rearing facility in producing EAB natural enemies and EAB eggs for use by researchers in the field.  This will include all aspects of rearing (e.g. rearing EAB adults and collecting eggs, cutting logs, infesting logs with eggs, caring for the natural enemy colonies, etc.).

2)     Process yellow pan trap samples collected by cooperators throughout the country. The incumbent will receive and record yellow pan trap samples and store them for future processing.  The incumbent will learn how to identify EAB natural enemies, go through the samples and collect all suspect EAB natural enemies, and ship potential specimens for positive identification.

3)     Conduct rearing studies to optimize storage of parasitoids. These studies will be designed by an APHIS Science and Technology scientist and the EAB Rearing Facility director. The incumbent will follow experimental protocols and collect and summarize data.

Please send an email with a cover letter and resume to Benjamin.h.slager@aphis.usda.gov

If they have questions about the position they can contact Ben at 810-844-2704.

Webinar: Planning and timing are critical for saving your urban ash forest from EAB

You are invited to attend our latest Live Webinar sponsored by: Southern Regional Extension Forestry.

Title: Planning and timing are critical for saving your urban ash forest from EAB

Date and Time: March 28, 2018, 1:00 PM Eastern Continue reading

APHIS Adds South Carolina to the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Regulated Area

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding all of South Carolina to the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (EAB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the detection of EAB in Greenville, Oconee, and Spartanburg Counties and because the state has decided to establish a full state quarantine.

To prevent the spread of EAB to other states, the attached Federal Order outlines specific conditions for the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles from South Carolina. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from South Carolina is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. Continue reading