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Author: Morgan, Ashley
Phone: 936-294-3716
Organization: Institute for the Study of Invasive Species, Texas Research Inst
Address: 2424 Sam Houston Avenue, Huntsville, Texas, 77341

Abstract Title: THE PREVALENCE OF BALCLUTHA RUBROSTRIATA (HEMIPTERA: CICADELLIDAE) IN TEXAS AND SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA, USA AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH KING RANCH BLUESTEM, BOTHRIOCHLOA ISCHAEMUM VAR. SONGARICA. Ashley R. Morgan*, Institute for the Study of Invasive Species, Huntsville, TX, David R. Hoffpauir, Texas Research Institute for Environmental Studies, Huntsville, TX, Autumn J. Smith-Herron, Institute for the Study of Invasive Species, Huntsville, TX, and Jerry L. Cook, Institute for the Study of Invasive Species, Texas Research Institute for Environmental Studies, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.

Abstract Text: The red streaked leafhopper, Balclutha rubrostriata (Melichar) is an invasive insect from southeastern Asia and a known vector of the phytoplasma that causes Sugarcane White Leaf Disease (SCWL). Since sugarcane is a vital crop for the United States and is being considered as a biofuel source, the presence of this leafhopper could become an economical threat. In 2012, the gulf coast region of Texas, east Texas, and 2 southwestern parishes of Louisiana were surveyed for B. rubrostriata. Samples of the leafhopper were collected along the gulf coast and east Texas counties. However, it was only found in one Louisiana parish. This year, 50 counties in northeast Texas, north-central Texas, central Texas and southwest Texas were surveyed for the presence of B. rubrostriata. The results of continuous sampling on various grasses, in over 60 Texas counties and 4 Louisiana parishes, suggests that the leafhopper is closely associated with an invasive grass, King Ranch Bluestem, Bothriochloa ischaemum var. songarica (L.). King Ranch Bluestem was first introduced in to Kleberg County to supplement cattle and is now common along much of the Texas Gulf Coast and is moving into Louisiana. It appears that B. rubrostriata has a close insect-host relationship with King Ranch Bluestem, and this insect could disperse along with King Ranch Bluestem. Results from this survey suggest a positive correlation between King Ranch Bluestem and B. rubrostriata, even when collected near sugarcane crops. In order to confirm the presence of the phytoplasma that causes SCWL; molecular analyses are being performed on collected populations of B. rubrostriata. If the red streaked leafhopper acquires SCWL, the insect-virus complex could then threaten the United States sugarcane crops.

Year: TIPPC_2014
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Presenter Type (Student or Regular):
Session: 4. Research
Submission Date: 2013-09-19