Florida Entomologist (2013) 96, 1442-1453

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Paul E. Kendra, Randy C. Ploetz, Wayne S. Montgomery, Jerome Niogret, Jorge E. Peña, Gurpreet S. Brar and Nancy D. Epsky (2013)
Evaluation of Litchi chinensis for host status to Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) and susceptibility to laurel wilt disease
Florida Entomologist 96 (4), 1442-1453
Abstract: The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), is an exotic wood-boring pest that vectors Raffaelea lauricola T.C. Harr., Fraedrich and Aghayeva (Ophiostomatales: Ophiostomataceae), the etiologic agent of laurel wilt. To date, all confirmed U.S. hosts of X. glabratus and suscepts of laurel wilt are members of the family Lauraceae. However, in previous research, an unknown variety of lychee, Litchi chinensis Sonn. (Sapindales: Sapindaceae), was found to be highly attractive to X. glabratus and elicited boring behaviors. Therefore, a study was undertaken to evaluate two commercial cultivars of lychee, 'Brewster' and 'Mauritius', for susceptibility to attack by X. glabratus, for transmission of R. lauricola, and for development of laurel wilt disease. In no-choice laboratory bioassays, 35 and 44% of females bored into cut bolts of 'Mauritius' and 'Brewster', respectively. Similar boring was observed on the trunks of two live 'Brewster' trees; but after 3 mo, there was no evidence of beetle reproduction, no symptoms of laurel wilt, and no recovery of R. lauricola from tissue associated with beetle galleries. Lychee trees artificially inoculated with an isolate of R. lauricola (RL4) that kills lauraceous hosts of this pathogen were asymptomatic after 1 mo, and assays for R. lauricola were negative. Chemical analysis indicated that lychee emits several sesquiterpene constituents in common with the Lauraceae, but at lower levels. Based on these data, we conclude that L. chinensis, although attractive to female X. glabratus, is not a likely reproductive host. This may be due to the inability of lychee wood to support growth of R. lauricola, the presumed primary nutritional symbiont of X. glabratus.
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Database assignments for author(s): Paul E. Kendra, Randy C. Ploetz, Nancy D. Epsky

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Xyleborus glabratus U.S.A. (SE)