Fungal biocontrol of buckthorn and reed canarygrass
Pablo D. Olivera Firpo, Plant Pathology
In the spring of 2017, a field researcher discovered an invasive glossy buckthorn shrub (Frangula alnus) infected with a type of rust, a type of fungus that creates raised, red-ish, orange-ish, or brown-ish spots on leaves. Rusts represent an umbrella of fungal diseases, some that affect cereal crops like oats and wild grasses. The variety of rust this researcher stumbled upon is new to the United States, and was later confirmed to have originated in another priority invasive plant: reed canarygrass.
MITPPC researchers will now evaluate whether this new rust can offer safe, practical and effective biocontrol for glossy buckthorn and reed canarygrass in Minnesota.
Where is the novel rust occurring in the state?
What host species does the rust affect?
Does the rust offer effective biocontrol for reed canarygrass and glossy buckthorn?
Our researchers will develop and distribute a fact sheet about this new rust to natural resource professionals, cereal crop growers and citizen scientists around Minnesota. This work could potentially result in a new biocontrol option for two of the highest-priority invasive species in our state.
USDA-Agricultural Research Service
Pablo D. Olivera Firpo, principal investigator, Department of Plant Pathology
Yue Jin, co-principal investigator, USDA-ARS Cereal Disease Lab
Susan Galatowitsch, cooperator, Department of FIsheries, WIldlife and Conservation Biology
Neil Anderson, cooperator, Department of Horticultural Science
Alan Smith, cooperator, Department of Horticultural Science
Nicholas Greatens, M.S. candidate, Department of Plant Pathology
News & Publications