Susceptibility of Fruit from Diverse Apple and Crabapple Germplasm to Attack by Plum Curculio (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

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Plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is an important apple, Malus domestica Borkh., pest that significantly hinders sustainable apple production in eastern North America. The potential for host plant resistance to plum curculio among apple germplasm has never been rigorously evaluated. Thus, studies were conducted to assess the susceptibility of a number of exotic and domestic Malus accessions housed at the USDA Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU) “core” collection in Geneva, NY. Contrary to earlier published reports and promising data from a field assessment in 2005, these results suggest that there is probably little potential for genetic resistance to plum curculio among the Malus germplasm collection evaluated. More specifically, four Malus hybrid selections that have previously been released with claims of plum curculio resistance were shown to be susceptible to plum curculio attack. Because there are additional accessions housed at PGRU outside of the core collection that are currently classified as resistant, further studies are necessary to evaluate the true resistance qualities of these releases. It is also important to clarify such discrepancies in both the USDA online Germplasm Resources Information Network and in the horticultural literature. Although other Malus species exhibited some variability in fruit susceptibility, none could be classified as being truly resistant to plum curculio attack by any definition that would have relevance to commercial production and sale of apples.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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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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