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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Specificity and Sensitivity of a Rapid LAMP Assay for Early Detection of Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) in Europe

Peterson, Donnie L.; Kyle, Kathleen; Salle, Aurelien; Pecori, Francesco; Migliorini, Duccio; Santini, Alberto; Luchi, Nicola; Cleary, Michelle


Buprestids are an emerging threat to broadleaf forests across the world. Species such as emerald ash borer (EAB, Agrilus planipennis) seriously threaten ash (Fraxinus spp.) in North America and Europe. As it continues spreading west from European Russia, native European ash populations will suffer dramatic losses. Due to their cryptic lifestyle of the egg and larval stages on developing bark and vascular tissue, buprestids and other wood borers can be difficult to detect. Early detection tools are vital to implement fast eradication measures, and prevent the establishment of invasive species populations. Detection methods using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays to target specific taxa can be extremely timely to obtain results especially since samples need to be transported to the laboratory first. However, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) eDNA assays are highly specific and sensitive providing results within 30 min after sample extraction. In this study, we investigated the specificity and sensitivity of an EAB LAMP assay as an early detection tool in Europe. The assay was specific to EAB when tested against 12 European Agrilus spp., five buprestids, two Scolytinae, and five cerambycids (n = 24). The LAMP assay sensitivity amplified DNA from a concentration as low as 0.02 pg/mu L. These results demonstrate that the LAMP assay is a highly specific, sensitive tool that can be used to detect and monitor EAB in European forests and urban settings.


early detection; emerald ash borer; buprestid; eDNA; LAMP

Published in

2023, Volume: 14, number: 2, article number: 436
Publisher: MDPI