The Inability of Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) to Vector a Plant Pathogen between its Preferred Host, Ailanthus altissima, in a Laboratory Setting
Brooks, Rachel K.
Dechaine, Andrew C.
Salom, Scott M.
MetadataShow full item record
With the recent introduction of the non-native spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) to the USA, research and concern regarding this insect is increasing. Though L. delicatula is able to feed on many different plant species, its preference for the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is apparent, especially during its later life stage. Therefore, management focused on A. altissima control to help limit L. delicatula establishment and population growth has become popular. Unfortunately, the control of A. altissima is difficult. Verticillium nonalfalfae, a naturally occurring vascular-wilt pathogen, has recently received attention as a potential biological control agent. Therefore, we studied if L. delicatula fourth instars or adults could vector V. nonalfalfae from infected A. altissima material to healthy A. altissima seedlings in a laboratory setting. We were unable to re-isolate V. nonalfalfae from the 45 A. altissima seedlings or from the 225 L. delicatula utilized in this experiment. We therefore, found no support that L. delicatula could effectively vector this pathogen between A. altissima in laboratory conditions. Since L.delicatula’s ability to vector V. nonalfalfae has implications for the dissemination of both this beneficial biological control and other similar unwanted plant pathogens, future research is needed to confirm these findings in a field setting.