Modification of the Effect of Bacillus thuringiensis on Sunflower Moth (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) by Dietary Phenols

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The sunflower moth, Homoeosoma electellum (Hulst), a major pest of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), is susceptible to Bacillus thurl.ngiensis Berliner, but field control has been inconsistent. Our study was done to determine whether phenolics in damaged sunflower tissue are in a conjugated or free form and whether they influence the toxicity B. thurl.ngiensis to the sunflower moth. Larvae fed diets containing B. thurl.ngiensis had reduced survival and growth. The LD50of B. thurl.ngiensis was 52 international units of potency per gram of diet. Phenolic acids are general biocides. They were found in sunflower hybrids largely in the free (nonconjugated) form after tissue injury. The phenolics were probably converted from the conjugated form to the free form after release of glycosidases. By themselves and at the doses tested, specific phenolic acids did not affect sunflower moth survival and growth. When cinnamic or p-coumaric acids were combined with B. thurl.ngiensis in artificial diet, growth (measured as width of sunflower moth head capsules) of larvae was reduced compared with that of larvae fed diets containing B. thurl.ngiensis. High phenolic sunflower might increase the effectiveness of B. thuringiensis as an agent for sunflower moth control.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1990

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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