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Maternal host plant effects on aphid performance: contrasts between a generalist and a specialist species on Brussels sprout cultivars

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Abstract:

• The performance of the second generation (G2) of alates and apterae of a generalist, Myzus persicae, and a specialist, Brevicoryne brassicae, aphid species reared on Chinese cabbage or cabbage was evaluated on five cultivars of Brussels sprout.

• Aphid performance was influenced both by the type of host on which the parent aphid had been reared and by the host on which it was feeding when reproducing.

• The fecundity of the G2 of alates of both aphid species reared on Chinese cabbage differed significantly between all the cultivars of Brussels sprout and, on average, was 25% higher than those reared on cabbage. These differences were also apparent for the intrinsic rate of increase of B. brassicae but not for M. persicae.

• There was a trend for the G2 of alates from Chinese cabbage to have greater fecundity compared with aphids from cabbage. These differences were significant for the fecundity of the G2 of alates of both aphid species on Brussels sprout cultivars Fillbasket (30% higher), Red Delicious (35% higher) and Winter Harvest (25% higher) than those reared on cabbage.

• The intrinsic rate of increase for the G2 of alates of B. brassicae from Chinese cabbage was significantly different on all Brussels sprout cultivars tested. The intrinsic rate of increase differed significantly between aphids reared on either Chinese cabbage or cabbage on cultivars Oliver and Darkmar-21 (M. persicae) and Red Delicious and Winter Harvest (B. brassicae). The cv. Oliver appeared to be the most consistently good host; Red Delicious was the poorest host overall.
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