New biocontrol opportunities for prickly acacia: exploration in India

The project New biocontrol opportunities for prickly acacia: exploration in India researched natural agents controlling prickly acacia in India.

Prickly acacia (Acacia nilotica ssp. indica) is a major weed in Australia, particularly in the Mitchell grass downs of western Queensland. To complement current chemical and mechanical control options researchers looked overseas to find potential biological control agents.

Studies suggested that Australia’s prickly acacia may have originated in India. This MLA funded project aimed to determine the effectiveness of natural control agents like insects and pathogens that infest or infect prickly acacia in India. Researchers conducted a systematic native-range survey, prioritised potential biological control agents and evaluated their host specificity and non-target risk under quarantine conditions.

Outputs from this project included more cost-effective management strategies for prickly acacia comprising effective and host-specific biological control agents to integrate with existing chemical and mechanical techniques. For more information, please read the final report summary and download the final report (B.NBP.0371) (PDF, 437 KB) from the Meat & Livestock Australia website.

When: 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2015

Contact: Dr Kunjithapatham Dhileepan

Collaborators: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; Arid Forest Research Institute; Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding; CABI Europe-UK