Survey and prioritisation of potential biological control agents for prickly acacia (Acacia nilotica subsp. indica) in southern India

Dhileepan, Kunjithapatham and Balu, Ayyapillai and Murugesan, Selvaraj and Senthilkumar, Ponnusamy and Shivas, Roger G. ORCID: (2013) Survey and prioritisation of potential biological control agents for prickly acacia (Acacia nilotica subsp. indica) in southern India. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 23 (6). pp. 646-664. ISSN 0958-3157

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Prickly acacia, Acacia nilotica subsp. indica (Benth.) Brenan (Mimosaceae), a multi-purpose tree native to the Indian subcontinent, is a weed of national significance, widespread throughout the grazing areas of western Queensland and has the potential to spread throughout northern Australia. Biological control of prickly acacia has been in progress since the early 1980s, but with limited success to date. Based on genetic and climate matching studies, native surveys for potential biological control agents were conducted in 64 sites in Tamil Nadu state and eight sites in Karnataka state from November 2008 to December 2011. Surveys yielded 33 species of phytophagous insects (16 species of leaf-feeders, eight species of stem feeders, four species with leaf-feeding adults and root-feeding larvae, two stem-borers and bark-feeders and three flower-feeders) and two rust fungi. The number of species recorded at survey sites increased with the number of times the sites were surveyed. Using a scoring system based on field host range, geographic range, seasonal incidence and damage levels, we prioritised a scale insect (Anomalococcus indicus Ramakrishna Ayyar), two leaf-webbing caterpillars (Phycita sp. A and Phycita sp. B), a leaf weevil (Dereodus denticollis Boheman), a leaf beetle (Pachnephorus sp.), a gall-inducing rust (Ravenelia acacia-arabica Mundk. & Thirumalachari) and a leaf rust (Ravenelia evansii Syd. & P.) for detailed host specificity tests. The two rusts were sent to CABI-UK for preliminary host-specificity testing. Three insects (A. indicus, D. denticollis and Phycita sp. A) were imported into a quarantine facility in Brisbane, Australia where host-specificity tests are in progress.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 22:39
Last Modified: 23 May 2017 22:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acacia nilotica; agent prioritisation; Australia; field host range; India; native range survey; ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; APPLIED ECOLOGY/POLLUTION; Weed and Pest Control; Biological control; Biological and integrated control; Pest, disease and weed control;
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300409 Crop and pasture protection (incl. pests, diseases and weeds)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960410 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Environments
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