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CPHST: Biloxi Station, Biloxi, Mississippi Laboratory

CPHST Biloxi Station, Biloxi, Mississippi

Location: 1815 Popps Ferry Rd. Biloxi, MS 39532
Phone: (228) 385-9278
Fax: (228) 385-9280
Contact: Anne-Marie Callcott

The CPHST Biloxi Station functions under the guidance of the CPHST Miami Laboratory and oversees and coordinates routine analytical chemistry and imported fire ant (IFA) methods development. Routine pesticide residue analysis of environmental monitoring samples from PPQ domestic programs are currently outsourced to an external lab. The station oversees the program and provides quality assurance reviews and audits. Staff also act as a liaison with PPQ field staff providing sample collection supplies and basic information, as well as with PPQ-Environmental Compliance staff insuring the contracted laboratory meets the agency’s needs. IFA methods and tools are developed with collaborators for survey, detection, regulation, and chemical and biological control of the IFA. The primary focus of this work is on developing quarantine treatment options for growers who move nursery stock and other regulated articles outside the Federal quarantine area, with the current emphasis on grass sod and field-grown nursery stock treatments. The station also supports development of biological control agents for IFA such as phorid flies and viruses.

Recent Accomplishments

Imported Fire Ant Program

  • Initiated agreements with ARS and several universities to conduct IFA methods development work on treatments for grass sod and field grown nursery stock.
  • Coordinated phorid fly biological control releases with state cooperators between 2001 and 2017. In 2017 we concluded the phorid fly rearing and release program. This program collaborated with ARS, Florida Department of Agriculture and numerous state cooperators to rear and release 4 species of phorid flies throughout the IFA infested area. Two species are well established and spreading in 70-90% of the IFA infested area, and the other 2 species are established in small areas.
  • ARS-CMAVE, in collaboration with APHIS-PPQ-Biloxi Station, has developed an infield ID tool for identification of red imported fire ant. This lateral flow immunoassay test using antibodies that bind a venom protein can identify red IFA in the field in 10-30 minutes. The test kits have been commercialized and are available for use from Agdia® Inc. ARS and APHIS are working to add identification of black IFA to the same test.

Analysis of Routine Environmental Monitoring Samples

  • Provided program service to analyze monitoring samples for the Boll Weevil, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and Grasshopper programs.
  • Established interagency agreement with Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) for analysis of routine PPQ program environment samples with pre-determined per sample costs.
  • Designed a new reporting system in conjunction with AMS.
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