Potential use of electrical penetration graph (EPG) technology for biosecurity incursion response decision making
Sap-sucking insects pose a significant biosecurity risk as they can cause direct damage to plants and may also vector serious plant pathogens. However, there is a paucity of tools for rapidly estimating the host range of such insects during a biosecurity incursion. The Electrical Penetration Graph (EPG) technique has been developed over the past 50 years for analysing, quantifying, and comparing the feeding behaviours of both phloem and xylem sap-sucking insects. Electrically generated waveforms associated with insects’ probing and feeding behaviours may allow a rapid assessment of the potential host range of invading sap sucking insects. This paper reviews the development and use of EPG, assesses potential for host-range testing of recent incursions, analyses when and how the EPG tool could be applied for response, and identifies seven points where EPG could aid biosecurity incursion response decision making. Three recent biosecurity responses could have benefited from EPG.