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Mon Jun 24, 2019, 03:04 PM

Destructive plant pest thwarted by two native fungi (Spotted Lanternfly)

Cornell-led research reports that two local fungal pathogens could potentially curb an invasive insect that has New York vineyard owners on edge.

The spotted lanternfly feeds on more than 70 plant species, including grape vines and apple trees.

Now, the paper, “A pair of native fungal pathogens drives decline of a new invasive herbivore,” led by Eric Clifton, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Cornell professor of entomology and co-author Ann Hajek, describes how two unrelated fungi, Batkoa major and Beauveria bassiana, have been decimating spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) populations near Reading, Pennsylvania.

“The finding is important because these naturally occurring pathogens could be used to develop methods for more environmentally-friendly control of this damaging invader,” Hajek said.

“It’s a great example of how a major new invasive herbivore can be suppressed by native pathogens,” Clifton said. “Nobody stepped in to do this; it all happened naturally.”

Link: https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2019/04/destructive-plant-pest-thwarted-two-native-fungi

Hopefully some good news on this front and thanks to our friends on our northern border! Article is from April of this year.

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