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Université de Fribourg

Genome assembly of the ragweed leaf beetle, a step forward to better predict rapid evolution of a weed biocontrol agent to environmental novelties

Bouchemousse, Sarah ; Falquet, Laurent ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz

In: Genome Biology and Evolution, 2020, vol. 12, no. 7, p. 1167–1173

Rapid evolution of weed biological control agents (BCAs) to new biotic and abiotic conditions is poorly understood and so far only little considered both in pre-release and post-release studies, despite potential major negative or positive implications for risks of nontargeted attacks or for colonizing yet unsuitable habitats, respectively. Provision of genetic resources, such as assembled...

Université de Fribourg

Assessing the risks of non-target feeding by the accidentally introduced ragweed leaf beetle, Ophraella communa, to native European plant species

Augustinus, Benno Andreas ; Gentili, Rodolfo ; Horvath, David ; Naderi, Ruhollah ; Sun, Yan ; Tournet, Anne-Marth Truce Eleonoor ; Schaffner, Urs ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz

In: Biological Control, 2020, vol. 150, p. 104356

In 2013, the North American oligophagous leaf beetle, Ophraella communa LeSage (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), was found in Europe for the first time. Recent studies in Northern Italy and Southern Switzerland record extensive defoliation by O. communa on its preferred host, common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (Asteraceae, Tribe Heliantheae), and reductions in its flowering and seeding. In...

Université de Fribourg

In-season leaf damage by a biocontrol agent explains reproductive output of an invasive plant species

Augustinus, Benno A. ; Lommen, Suzanne T.E. ; Fogliatto, Silvia ; Vidotto, Francesco ; Smith, Tessa ; Horvath, David ; Bonini, Maira ; Gentili, Rodolfo F. ; Citterio, Sandra ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Schaffner, Urs

In: NeoBiota, 2020, vol. 55, p. 117–146

One of the biggest challenges in classical biological control of invasive weeds is predicting the likelihood of success. Ambrosia artemisiifolia, a North American plant species that has become invasive in Europe, causes economic losses due to health problems resulting from its huge amount of highly allergenic pollen and as a weed to agricultural crops resulting from high seed densities. Here...

Université de Fribourg

Biological weed control to relieve millions from Ambrosia allergies in Europe

Schaffner, Urs ; Steinbach, Sandro ; Sun, Yan ; Skjøth, Carsten A. ; Weger, Letty A. de ; Lommen, Suzanne T. ; Augustinus, Benno A. ; Bonini, Maira ; Karrer, Gerhard ; Šikoparija, Branko ; Thibaudon, Michel ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz

In: Nature Communications, 2020, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 1745

Invasive alien species (IAS) can substantially affect ecosystem services and human well-being. However, quantitative assessments of their impact on human health are rare and the benefits of implementing IAS management likely to be underestimated. Here we report the effects of the allergenic plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia on public health in Europe and the potential impact of the accidentally...

Université de Fribourg

Isolation of 12 polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite markers of the leaf beetle Ophraella communa, a promising Ambrosia biocontrol agent also in Europe

Bordeyne, François ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Bouchemousse, Sarah

In: Biocontrol Science and Technology, 2019, p. 1–8

Following its first record in Europe in 2013, the North American ragweed leaf beetle Ophraella communa, used already as a most successful biocontrol agent against common ragweed in China, is spreading rapidly, asking for a detailed analysis of the potential benefit and risk of this introduction for Europe. Here, we report twelve specific and polymorphic tetranucleotide microsatellite markers,...

Université de Fribourg

Predicting abundances of invasive ragweed across Europe using a “top-down” approach

Skjøth, Carsten Ambelas ; Sun, Yan ; Karrer, Gerhard ; Sikoparija, Branko ; Smith, Matt ; Schaffner, Urs ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz

In: Science of The Total Environment, 2019, vol. 686, p. 212–222

Common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) is a widely distributed and harmful invasive plant that is an important source of highly allergenic pollen grains and a prominent crop weed. As a result, ragweed causes huge costs to both human health and agriculture in affected areas. Efficient mitigation requires accurate mapping of ragweed densities that, until now, has not been achieved...

Université de Fribourg

Do invasive alien plants differ from non-invasives in dominance and nitrogen uptake in response to variation of abiotic and biotic environments under global anthropogenic change?

Liu, Yuan-Yuan ; Sun, Yan ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Yan, Rong ; Zhou, Zhi-Xiang ; Wang, Yong-Jian ; Yu, Fei-Hai

In: Science of The Total Environment, 2019, vol. 672, p. 634–642

Plant invasion is the outcome of complicated interactions of both biotic and abiotic environments (i.e. eutrophication and human-induced propagules) under global anthropogenic change. Here, we want to know why some alien clonal plant species become invasive and others do not in the introduced range with variations of both abiotic and biotic environments under global anthropogenic change.We...

Université de Fribourg

Sympatric diploid and tetraploid cytotypes of Centaurea stoebe s.l. do not differ in arbuscular mycorrhizal communities and mycorrhizal growth response

Sudová, Radka ; Kohout, Petr ; Kolaříková, Zuzana ; Rydlová, Jana ; Voříšková, Jana ; Suda, Jan ; Španiel, Stanislav ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Mráz, Patrik

In: American Journal of Botany, 2018, vol. 105, no. 12, p. 1995–2007

Genome duplication is associated with multiple changes at different levels, including interactions with pollinators and herbivores. Yet little is known whether polyploidy may also shape belowground interactions.Methods: To elucidate potential ploidy‐specific interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), we compared mycorrhizal colonization and assembly of AMF communities in roots of...

Université de Fribourg

Estimating economic benefits of biological control of Ambrosia artemisiifolia by Ophraella communa in southeastern France

Mouttet, Raphaelle ; Augustinus, Benno ; Bonini, Maira ; Chauvel, Bruno ; Desneux, Nicolas ; Gachet, Emmanuel ; Le Bourgeois, Thomas ; Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Thibaudon, Michel ; Schaffner, Urs

In: Basic and Applied Ecology, 2018, vol. 33, p. 14–24

The North American common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, which produces highly allergenic pollen, is invasive in different parts of the world, including Europe. In 2013, common ragweed in northern Italy was found attacked by another accidentally introduced species, the North American leaf beetle Ophraella communa, which is used for biological control of common ragweed in China. Since the...

Université de Fribourg

Cross-fertilizing weed science and plant invasion science to improve efficient management: A European challenge

Müller-Schärer, Heinz ; Sun, Yan ; Chauvel, Bruno ; Karrer, Gerhard ; Kazinczi, Gabriella ; Kudsk, P. ; Lansink Oud, A. G. J. M. ; Schaffner, Urs ; Skjoth, C. A. ; Smith, M. ; Vurro, M. ; de Weger, L. A. ; Lommen, Suzanne T. E.

In: Basic and Applied Ecology, 2018, vol. 33, p. 1–13

Both weed science and plant invasion science deal with noxious plants. Yet, they have historically developed as two distinct research areas in Europe, with different target species, approaches and management aims, as well as with diverging institutions and researchers involved. We argue that the strengths of these two disciplines can be highly complementary in implementing management...