Field and Laboratory Selection of Medicago Plant Introductions for Resistance to the Clover Root Curculio (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

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Taproots of Medicago sativa L. plant introductions grown in field nurseries for 2 yr were evaluated for injury by larvae of the clover root curculio, Sitona hispidulus (F.). Most plants had ≍20-25% of the taproot surface injured by larvae, but PI 183060 and PI 183263 averaged <10%. Half-sibling progenies of plants with <10% taproot injury were infested with clover root curculio eggs in the laboratory and grown in cone containers for 5 wk. Significantly less taproot injury was found on PI 183060, PI 183263, and PI 183404, and larval survival was lower on PI 315456-3, compared with the control. Half-sibling progeny and hand-pollinated crosses of other plant introductions that had low amounts of tap root feeding were seeded in an advanced nursery. Progeny of PI 464719 X PI 445871 had significantly less taproot injury than the control. Choice tests for antixenosis to adult feeding on 1st trifoliate in the greenhouse showed that PI 494661 and PI 516906 had significantly less feeding than the control. Overall, there was no correlation between adult feeding in the greenhouse and larval injury to the taproot in the field. Evaluating alfalfa plant introductions in the field for 2 yr followed by evaluation of their half-sibling progenies is a useful strategy for identifying sources of resistance to taproot injury by the clover root curculio.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1996

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