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Susceptibility of strawberry cultivars to the vine weevil Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

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1 The feeding preference of vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Fabricius), adults for foliage from 21 commercial cultivars of strawberries is investigated using binary choice tests with leaf disks, using ‘Honeoye’ as a standard against which all other cultivars are compared. ‘Delmarvel’, ‘Idea’, ‘Lester’, ‘Primetime’ and ‘Seneca’ are not preferred.

2 Variation in leaf nitrogen content is correlated with feeding preference, but does not explain all the variation, because outliers exist for both preferred and nonpreferred cultivars.

3 Removal of leaf hairs with adhesive tape permits their role in deterrence to be evaluated. Eight of the 21 cultivars have deterrent leaf hairs. Paradoxically, some highly preferred cultivars (e.g. ‘Latestar’ and ‘Tristar’) have deterrent leaf hairs, and four of the five nonpreferred cultivars lack significantly deterrent leaf hairs.

4 The 21 tested cultivars do not differ in their suitability for vine weevil larval development.

5 Differences in cultivar susceptibility to vine weevil in the field may involve interactions between the palatability and nutritional value of foliage, which influence fecundity and egg placement, and the tolerance of strawberry plants to larval feeding, determined by root biomass. The nonpreference traits found in the foliage of commercial cultivars of strawberry are present by chance. Accordingly, further selective breeding to enhance strawberry varietal tolerance to vine weevils may be possible.

Keywords: Deterrent; Fragaria × ananassa; Otiorhynchus sulcatus; host resistance; maturation feeding; nonpreference; tolerance

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Valley Laboratory, PO Box 248, Windsor, CT 06095, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2004-11-01

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