Effect of Sweet potato Latex on Sweet potato Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Feeding and Oviposition

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Latex in some laticiferous plants acts as a natural defense system against certain herbivores. The potential of latex produced by the sweet potato as a defense mechanism against the sweet potato weevil, Cylas formicarius (F.) was investigated. Genetic and environmental differences were found in latex production in a broad cross section of sweet potato germ plasm (96 lines). Most lines produced 2.6-10 mg fresh weight x vine 1 of latex when the 2nd inter node from the apex was severed. Some lines, however, produced more, the highest being 48.3 mg X vine-1. Young vine material produced more latex and had less weevil feeding damage than older more mature portions of the vine. Application of latex to the surface of root cores reduced feeding and oviposition. Addition of latex to a semi-artificial media also significantly reduced the number of feeding punctures. Leaf feeding location (veins) and direction (basipetal), however, were not indicative of a major deterrent role for latex against the sweet potato weevil.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1996

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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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