Influence of Nezara viridula Feeding on Cotton Yield, Fiber Quality, and Seed Germination

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The influence of southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.), adults (males and females) and fourth to fifth instars on cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., boll abscission, seedcotton yield, fiber quality, and seed viability was evaluated in field studies conducted during 2004 and 2005. Cotton bolls representing several age classes ranging from 0–600 heat units were individually infested with a specific gender or life stage of southern green stink bug. Adults and nymphs induced abscission of bolls that accumulated 0–280 heat units after anthesis. Seedcotton yield was significantly lower in bolls infested with adults (males and females) and late instars through ≈500 heat units after anthesis. Southern green stink bug feeding on bolls significantly affected the physical fiber properties of micronaire (measure of fiber fineness or maturity), strength, uniformity, and fiber length. Discolored cotton lint in the stink bug-infested bolls was more common than in noninfested bolls. Seed germination and development of normal seedlings for seed harvested from stink bug-infested bolls that accumulated ≤500 heat units beyond anthesis were significantly lower compared with noninfested bolls. No significant differences in boll abscission, yield, fiber quality, and seed germination were detected between southern green stink bug males and females or between adults and fourth to fifth instars.
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