The emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), native to East Asia and discovered in Michigan in 2002, has been a devastating pest of North American ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). Along with native ecosystems in Eastern North America, a large percentage of urban canopies in many North American cities consist of ash trees, and many of these areas have lost or risk losing these valuable trees. As part of a multi-faceted management strategy, it is important to develop and plant cultivars of ash with resistance to this damaging insect. Given that EAB is not considered a pest in its native range of East Asia, we suspect that Asian ash taxa may have some resistance based on their coevolutionary relationship to the beetle. To test for possible resistance in a range of ash species, we performed no-choice feeding assays with 19 different Asian, European, and North American ash between 2009 and 2018. Elm (Ulmus) taxa were also tested for potential suitability for EAB feeding. Studies included no-choice laboratory leaf feeding assays with adult beetles and laboratory and field phloem feeding studies with larvae. While leaf-feeding was variable, many of the Asian species, including F. chinensis, F. chinensis ssp. rhynchophylla, and F. mandshurica were among the least suitable for adult feeding. Larvae fared significantly worse in bolts of F. chinensis and F. chinensis ssp. rhynchophylla than in F. mandshurica, F. angustifolia, and F. pennsylvanica, a highly susceptible control. Ulmus taxa were not suitable for feeding. This study has revealed potential Fraxinus species to be used in breeding programs and plantings.
Miller, Fredric and McMahan, Erin
"Examining Resistance of Asian, European, and North American Ash and Elm Species to the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae),"
The Great Lakes Entomologist, vol 55
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/tgle/vol55/iss1/6