EAB from ground zero...   E. Daniel Ayres
  Mar 14, 2007 11:19 PST 
Here in Ypsilanti, MI we still have a few struggling survivor Green Ash
trees standing, but most of the trees are gone and many have yet to be
removed.   It is very disheartening to me to hear the same stories over and
over again coming from state sponsored experts who continue to support
recommendations which do not work.   Here in Michigan, the state didn't come
forward with money until the only thing we had left was a tree disposal and
removal problem rather than an issue of containment and spread prevention.

The organizations designed to use machines to remove trees seem to know how
to get money from "the system" but those of us speaking for approaches to
prevention and containment could not convince legislators to do anything
until it is too late. When funding for the testing and evaluation of EAB
treatments became available here, evaluations of the sites we submitted for
use all came back, "everything is too far gone" or "we need urban areas for
the testing because those are the only areas where spending the money kind
of money we are talking about can be justified." It never ceases to amaze
me how easily and smoothly the political process blunts and obscures
rational scientific discourse and science based action recommendations.    

Maybe we need to splice a gene for insecticide producing and/or fungus
inhibiting cells into a whole range of different tree species? The approach
seems to be working to produce crops we now use to feed billions of humans,
maybe the same approach might save some Eastern Native Tree Species from
extinction? Anyone know about promising experiments?

E. Daniel Ayres, AKA ZundapMan
Emerald Ash Borer might be fought with fungus, too   Paul Jost
  Apr 19, 2007 17:24 PDT 

From http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2007/070413.htm

Fungus Eyed as Stopper of Ash-Killing Beetle

By Luis Pons

April 13, 2007

Beauveria bassiana, a soilborne fungus already used for keeping many insect
pests in check, is being eyed as a possible control for an invasive beetle
that has already killed more than 20 million ash trees in Michigan, Ohio,
Indiana, and Ontario.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist John Vandenberg and
colleagues want to know how well a commercial strain of B. bassiana stands
up to the emerald ash borer after repeated applications. They are also
seeing if this strain-called GHA-will work better if used with the
commercial insecticide imidacloprid.

B. bassiana spores kill insects by attaching to them, germinating, and
penetrating their hosts' bodies. The spores can survive to infect later pest
generations. B. bassiana is used against a variety of insects, including
termites and whiteflies.

The emerald ash borer is thought to have entered North America during the
1990s in solid woodpacking material from Asia. Its immature larvae feed on
the vascular-system tissue of ash trees.

First spotted here in 2002 near Detroit, the destructive beetle has since
cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products
industries tens of millions of dollars, according to the U.S. Forest Service
(USFS). Infestations were recently found in the Chicago area.

According to Vandenberg, of the ARS Plant Protection Research Unit (PPRU),
Ithaca, N.Y., preliminary studies led by USFS scientist Leah Bauer have
shown that the beetle is susceptible to B. bassiana. However, the fungus'
effectiveness in larger field trials has not yet been proven.

At a commercial tree nursery near Jackson, Mich., Vandenberg, Bauer, PPRU
entomologist Michael Griggs, Cornell University scientist Louela Castrillo
and Michigan State University researcher Houping Liu are studying the
performance of the fungus on about 400 ash trees in three planting areas.

A possible strategy against the beetle would entail spraying the fungus on
trees before the pests' spring mating season, according to Vandenberg.

ARS and the U.S. Forest Service are agencies within the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. ARS is USDA's chief in-house scientific research agency.