Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Identify Weevil As Biocontrol For Invasive Garlic Mustard

Date:
July 27, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A promising biocontrol agent for garlic mustard, one of the most problematic invaders of temperate forests in North America, has been identified.

A promising biocontrol agent for garlic mustard, one of the most problematic invaders of temperate forests in North America, has been identified.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

A promising biocontrol agent for garlic mustard, one of the most problematic invaders of temperate forests in North America, has been identified by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators.

Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata, got its name because its leaves, when crushed, smell like garlic. According to legend, it was brought here from Europe in the 1860s as a culinary herb, but unfortunately, it doesn’t taste very good.

Since then, this invasive weed has spread to 34 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. It is very difficult to eradicate because its seeds can remain viable in the soil for more than 10 years. A single plant can produce hundreds of seeds, which scatter as far as several yards from the parent. Garlic mustard also releases natural substances called allelochemicals into the soil to suppress growth of other plants.

Ecologist Adam Davis, with the ARS Invasive Weed Management Research Unit in Urbana, Ill., collaborated with colleagues at Michigan State University, Cornell University, the University of Illinois and CABI in Switzerland to create a computer model to simulate the weed’s life cycle.

CABI scientists also found four Ceutorhynchus weevils as potential biocontrol agents for garlic mustard. Davis combined the feeding information of the four candidate weevils and the demographic information on garlic mustard in North America to assess each weevil’s ability to inflict damage on the weed and inhibit its growth. C. scrobicollis came out on top.

The tiny C. scrobicollis only eats garlic mustard. It feeds on the weed’s root crown, the area where nutrients are stored. This stops the flow of nutrients and water from the roots to the rest of the plant. The weevil also damages the meristem, the area where new growth takes place. As a result, garlic mustard produces fewer seeds or, in areas with high weevil populations, dies prematurely without producing any seeds.

C. scrobicollis is currently awaiting release at the University of Minnesota.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Scientists Identify Weevil As Biocontrol For Invasive Garlic Mustard." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090725115152.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, July 27). Scientists Identify Weevil As Biocontrol For Invasive Garlic Mustard. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090725115152.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Scientists Identify Weevil As Biocontrol For Invasive Garlic Mustard." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090725115152.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins