Common barberry and Japanese barberry are both terrestrial invasive species that have spread throughout the United States including Minnesota. These species also readily hybridize, resulting in Berberis × ottawensis, another species which can host cereal rust diseases that threaten wheat and small grain production.
Researchers know that this hybrid is present in Minnesota, but accurate identification is difficult, and a definitive survey has never been conducted. Doing so is important to assess the threat it poses to both agricultural systems and forest health.
- Where is B. × ottawensis present in Minnesota?
- How can B. × ottawensis be identified?
- How susceptible are hybrids to stem rust, and what threat do they pose to Minnesota’s small grain producers?
This project will develop cost-effective molecular diagnostic tools to identify barberry hybrids throughout Minnesota. The reliable identification of these hybrids will lead to the development of effective management strategies, including the potential need for a reconsideration of the legal status of all three barberry taxa to protect the small grains industry.
- Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference 2022