The National Sirex Coordination Committee has responsibilities to maintain the effectiveness of the components of the biocontrol system operating in Australia. This involves monitoring of sirex levels in the field and review of field and laboratory methodologies which may influence biocontrol success.
Recent research intitatives include:
1. Improvement of nematode rearing practices
This project has enabled delivery to field operations of superior quality nematodes which are capable of being held under refrigeration for up to one week. This has been achieved by enhanced filtration techniques during packaging, and is now current practice for our nematode supplier Ecogrow.
2. Investigation of the genetic variation within nematodes across Australia. The Kamona strain has higher infectivity rates than many other wild strains. The effectiveness of the NSCC recommendation to swamp wild strains with Kamona strain is still to be established. Work is ongoing.
3. Evaluation of interactions between bark beetles (Ips grandicollis) and sirex and its biocontrol agents. This ARC linkage project was conducted in conjunction with Charles Sturt University, and demonstrated that the sirex fungus (Amylosterum sp) and the ips fungus (Ophiostoma ips) are not compatable. This results in interrupted movement of nematodes within ips infested trees. This research has implications for the timing of installation of trap trees for sirex detection and inoculation.
4. Sirex has until this time been largely confined to southern Australian radiata pine plantations. As sirex are now being found in radiata pine plantations in Queensland, there is concern that large areas of suptropical pines may be susceptible to sirex, and there is also concern that the biocontrol agents which have been effective in southern Australia may not be as effective under sub tropical climates. This work is ongoing in conjunction with University of Sunshine Coast and DAFF Queensland.
Recent publications by NSCC partners:
Nahrung HF, Ramsden MJ & Griffiths MW (2015) Sirex woodwasp range expansion in Australia: performance and parasitism on two commercial pine species. Forestry, DOI: 10.1093/forestry/cpv039
Hayes RA, Griffiths MW & Nahrung HF (2015) Electrophysiological activity of the Sirex noctilio ovipositor: you know the drill? Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, Volume 18: 165-168. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aspen.2015.01.003
Fazila Y, Carnegie AJ, Bedding RA, Bashford R, Nicol HI, Gurr GM (2014) Effect of temperature on woodwasp (Sirex noctilio F.) development and parasitism by the entomopathogenic nematode, Deladenus siricidicola. Biological Control, Volume 79, 67–74 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2014.08.007
Fazila Y, Gurr GM, Carnegie AJ, Bedding RA, Bashford R, Gitau CW (2014) Biology of the bark beetle Ips grandicollis Eichhoff (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) and its arthropod, nematode and microbial associates: a review of management opportunities for Australia. Austral Entomology Volume 53 (3), 298-316 DOI: 10.1111/aen.12077
Fazila Y, Carnegie AJ, Bashford R, Bedding RA, Nicol HI, Gurr GM (2014) Bark beetle (Ips grandicollis) disruption of woodwasp (Sirex noctilio) biocontrol: direct and indirect mechanisms. Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 323, 98-104 DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2014.03.009
Gitau CW, Bashford R, Carnegie AJ & Gurr GM. 2013. A review of semiochemicals associated with bark beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) pests of coniferous trees: a focus on beetle interactions with other tree pests and their associates. Forest Ecology and Management 297, 1–14. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2013.02.019
Gitau CW, Carnegie AJ, Nicol HI, Bashford R, Poyntere C, Gurr GM (2013) Incidence of Ips grandicollis (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) in trap trees prepared for biological control of Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) in Australia: Influence of environment and silviculture. Forest Ecology and Management 310, 865–874. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2013.09.035
Yousuf F, Gurr GM, Carnegie AJ, Bedding RA, Bashford R, Gitau CW, Nicol HI 2013. The bark beetle, Ips grandicollis, disrupts biological control of the wood wasp, Sirex noctilio, via fungal symbiont interactions. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1574-6941.12267.
Carnegie AJ & Bashford R. 2012. Sirex woodwasp in Australia: current management strategies, research and emerging issues. In: The Sirex Woodwasp and Its Fungal Symbiont (eds Slippers B, deGroot P, Wingfield MJ), Springer, Dordrecht, the Netherlands. 175–201.
Boissin E, Hurley B, Wingfield MJ, Vasaitis R, Stenlid J, Davis C, de Groot P, Ahumada R, Carnegie AJ, Goldarazena A, Klasmer P, Wermelinger B, Slippers B (2012) Retracing the routes of introduction of invasive species: the case of the Sirex noctilio woodwasp. Molecular Ecology doi: 10.1111/mec.12065.
Bedding RA. 2009. Controlling the pine-killing woodwasp, Sirex noctilio, with nematodes. In: Use of Microbes for Control and Eradication of Invasive Arthropods (eds Hajek TR , Glare TR & O’Callaghan M), pp. 213–235. Springer Science, Business Media B.V., Dordrecht, the Netherlands.