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Trichomes of Lycopersicon species and their hybrids: effects on pests and natural enemies

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1 The cultivated tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, is an economically important worldwide crop. Current pest management techniques rely heavily on pesticides but trichome-based host-plant resistance may reduce pesticide use.

2 A review of the literature is provided on trichomes of wild Lycopersicon species and the effects of trichome-based host-plant resistance on arthropods. Solvents have been used to remove glandular trichome exudates and the resulting dimminution of their effects quantified. Correlational approaches to assess the relationship between the different trichome types and effects on pests have also been used.

3 Most studies have focused on Lepidoptera and Hemiptera, although some work has included Coleoptera, Diptera and Acarina, and both antibiotic and antixenotic effects have been demonstrated.

4 Natural enemies are a cornerstone of international pest management and this review discusses how the compatibility of this approach with trichome-based host-plant resistance is uncertain because of the reported negative effects of trichomes on one dipteran, one hemipteran and several Hymenoptera.

5 For trichome-based host-plant resistance to be utilized as a pest management tool, trichomes of wild species need to be introgressed into the cultivated tomato. Hybrids between the cultivated tomato and the wild species Lycopersicon hirsutum f. glabratum, Lycopersicon pennellii and Lycopersicon cheesmanii f. minor have been produced and useful levels of resistance to Acarina, Diptera and Hemiptera pests have been exhibited, although these effects may be tempered by effects on natural enemies.

6 This review proposes that studies on genetic links between fruit quality and resistance, field studies to determine the compatibility of natural enemies and trichome-based host-plant resistance, and a strong focus on L. cheesmanii f. minor, are all priorities for further research that will help realize the potential of this natural defence mechanism in pest management.

Keywords: Arthropod; biological control; breeding; cheesmanii; hirsutum; host-plant resistance; pennellii; resistance; tomato

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Charles Sturt University, PO Box 883, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia.

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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