Center for Plant Health Science and Technology
CPHST Lab, Otis ANGB, Massachusetts
Location: 1398 W. Truck Rd., Otis Air National Guard Base, Buzzards Bay, MA
Phone: (508) 563-9303
Fax: (508) 564-4398
Contact: Vic Mastro
The Otis Lab’s mission is to identify, develop, and transfer technology for survey, exclusion, control, and risk assessment for APHIS and its cooperators. The lab serves a wide variety of PPQ programs that include: exotic pest-detection programs, phytosanitary treatments, and emergency response and eradication programs for ALB, LBAM, AGM, emerald ash borer (EAB), Sirex noctilio woodwasp, European grapevine moth (EGVM), and other pests. Otis personnel identify high risk exotic pests and develop survey technology to facilitate the early detection of introductions. The lab continues to support PPQ’s gypsy moth program by developing molecular methods to distinguish among subspecies of gypsy moth; producing the gypsy moth virus product, Gypchek; and helping ensure the quality of gypsy moth lures. Additional work is focused on the development of regulatory treatments for various commodities and means of their conveyance, such as pallets and containers. The Otis Lab is developing rearing systems for EAB, S. noctilio, and the winter moth.
To fulfill its mission, Otis Lab personnel maintain cooperative relationships with ARS, USDA’s Forest Service, universities, and private industry. These cooperative arrangements extend to government organizations and universities in a number of foreign locations, including Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, and South Africa. The work includes developing methods to monitor and exclude AGM from North America, predicting the invasiveness of organisms by assessing damage on expatriate North American plants in foreign locations, developing and evaluating attractants, and developing control techniques for targeted exotic pests.
European Grapevine Moth
- Supported the EGVM program by leading a technical working group and formulating 250,000 pheromone lures for the program while commercial sources were being developed.
- Developed or evaluated phytosanitary treatments that allowed for intrastate, interstate, and international movement of grapes and other EGVM host material; assessed the efficacy of insecticides for EGVM control programs; and confirmed the suitability of attractant-based trapping methods for survey and population monitoring.
- Began developing rearing systems for EGVM for potential use in mass-rearing and determined that the pink bollworm diet was highly suitable for EGVM.
Emerald Ash Borer
- In conjunction with USDA’s Forest Service and ARS, successfully released several parasites that attack EAB.
- Continued to monitor the establishment and effectiveness of these parasites at field release sites and to consult with a PPQ parasite rearing facility in Michigan.
- Collected an additional parasite species in Russia that is under evaluation for field release.
- Continued testing to fine-tune EAB traps and lures for survey work. Developed data that will lead to the availability of a dry (non-sticky) trap for EAB.
- Evaluated EAB dispersal and the systemic insecticide emamectin benzoate in West Virginia.
- Continued to perform DNA analysis of gypsy moth specimens submitted by PPQ’s domestic monitoring program and from specimens intercepted by PPQ and DHS.
- Continued work toward developing a worldwide library for microsatellite DNA markers from gypsy moths, which should prove useful in determining likely source populations for intercepted gypsy moths and newly detected populations. We also began work toward developing DNA “barcoding” capabilities so that intercepted lymantriids that are not gypsy moths can be readily and accurately identified.
Asian Longhorned Beetle
- Continued assessing ALB populations and tree-damage patterns to understand the dynamics and spread of ALB infestations in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
- Initiated studies to develop regulatory treatments for ALB in nursery stock, as commercial nurseries are now included in ALB-infested areas.
Light Brown Apple Moth
- Supported the LBAM program by leading a technical working group as well as developing and evaluating phytosanitary and control treatments. In particular, we cooperated in finalizing a test of new mating disruption formulations in California, leading to use of the method by caneberry growers in the Monterey Bay area. We also arranged for additional testing of novel mating disruption formulations in New Zealand.
- Continued to develop phytosanitary treatments for LBAM, including fumigation methods for produce and use of systemic insecticides as a means of further reducing the risk of moving LBAM to uninfested areas on nursery stock.
- Conducted experimental releases of a biocontrol agent for Sirex woodwasp using the nematode Beddingia siricidicola in New York and Michigan.
- Formulated and provided over 50,000 pheromone dispensers (in addition to those for the EGVM program) to support CAPS and other survey efforts. We continued to provide advice on trap, lures, and survey design for these programs.
- Development of new regulatory treatments for pinewood, ash, and firewood is progressing. In particular, good progress was made toward validating the use of radio-frequency waves for phytosanitary treatment of wood, which is nearing acceptance for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures.
April 3, 2013