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Aspects of Potato Leafhopper (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) Biology on Solanum berthaultii and Other Potato Genotypes

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Survival of nymphs and adult males and females of potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris), on six potato (Solanum spp.) genotypes with varied levels of resistance was evaluated and related to type, density, and droplet/head size of foliar glandular trichomes. Survival was greater on Solanum tuberosum cultivars (‘Allegany’ and ‘Elba’) compared with accessions of the wild S. berthaultii (PI 473331 and PI 473334). The barrier provided by glandular trichomes may affect survival of E. fabae by restricting nymph and adult feeding. PI 473331 was the most pubescent host, bearing type A and type B trichomes and the most unsuitable host for E. fabae. Allegany possesses leaflets with low trichome densities and small gland diameter and was the most suitable host for adult E. fabae survival. Females generally had higher survival rates than males. Nymphal and adult leafhoppers differed greatly in their survival rates, particularly on S. tuberosum × S. berthaultii hybrids (Q174-2 and NY123). Interestingly, nymphs had longer (190 d) mean lethal time (LT50) than adults (31 d) when held on Q174-2, and a lower LT50 (19 d) when held on NY123 compared with adults (104 d). Starvation, dehydration, or both were likely associated with mortality of nymphs confined on PI 473331 and PI 473334. Nymphs on these accessions died at a comparable rate to those confined on a starvation treatment and more rapidly than those supplied with water only, sucrose solution or other potato genotypes. Darkened trichome exudates were observed on insects held on PI 473331 and PI 473334, consistent with previous reports that glandular trichomes of S. berthaultii contain phenolic oxidation chemistry. This study aids in the identification of the probable mechanisms of resistance to E. fabae used by S. berthaulti and its hybrids with S. tuberosum.

Keywords: Empoasca fabae; Solanum berthaultii; glandular trichomes; insect–plant interactions; plant resistance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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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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