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A model system for the discovery and development of biocontrol agents against forest pests

The primary aim of this project is to improve the biological control of Gonipterus weevils in Australian and overseas eucalypt plantations. Biological control is an important component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems in plantation forestry worldwide. Classical Biological Control (CBC; that is, introduction of a natural enemy of non-native origin to control a pest, usually also non-native, aiming at the establishment of the natural enemy and self-sustainable control of the pest) is a highly cost-effective method for managing exotic invasive insect pests. This method has been widely deployed in eucalypt plantations around the globe against Australian-origin insect pests. The first and most crucial step in a successful CBC program is the identification of candidate biocontrol agents from the native range of the pest.

Gonipterus weevils are amongst the most important pests of eucalypts in Australia and overseas. The high levels of damage in Australian forests have been attributed in part, to a lack of natural enemies. Using Gonipterus weevils and their associated parasitoids as a model system the project will develop a generic framework for the discovery and development of biocontrol agents for use in forestry.

Project date

23 Jun 2017-30 Dec 2020

Principal investigator

Simon Lawson

Project funded by

Multiple industries
Forestry Natural capital assets Other rural industries

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA)

Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA) is a not-for-profit company that provides national, integrated research and development services to …

Multiple industries
Forestry Natural capital assets Other rural industries
  • Location

    Australia

  • Organisation type

    Research funding body

Logo for Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA)

Focus areas

Industries

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