Sugarcane Aphid Population Growth, Plant Injury, and Natural Enemies on Selected Grain Sorghum Hybrids in Texas and Louisiana
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In response to the 2013 outbreak of sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari (Zehntner) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), on sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.), in North America, experiments were conducted at three southern U.S. grain sorghum production locations (Corpus Christi, TX; Winnsboro, LA; Rosenberg, TX). The objectives were to authenticate yield decline on susceptible hybrids (2014 and 2015) and to measure aphid population growth and natural enemy prevalence on susceptible and resistant hybrids with similar genetic background (2014). Yield decline on susceptible hybrids (Tx 2752/Tx430 and DKS53-67) was more substantial when aphid population growth accelerated quickly and peaked above 300 aphids per leaf (50 to nearly 100% yield decline). Location and year variation in maximum aphid density and cumulative aphid-days was high, with doubling time values on the susceptible hybrids ranging between 3.9 and 7.9 d. On resistant Tx2752/Tx2783, leaf injury and yield decline were not seen or less severe than on its paired susceptible Tx2752/Tx430. Aphids declined on Tx2752/Tx2783 after initial colony establishment (Corpus Christi) or took about 60% longer to double in population size when compared with Tx2572/Tx430 (Winnsboro). The predominant natural enemy taxa were aphelinid mummies (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), and sryphid flies (Diptera: Syrphidae), and they were more prevalent during flowering than prior to flowering. They were generally responsive to changes in aphid density of both susceptible and resistant hybrids, but variability points to need for further study. In future research, full season observations should continue as well as more detailed study of potential compatibility of sorghum resistance and biological control.
author list (cited authors)
Brewer, M. J., Gordy, J. W., Kerns, D. L., Woolley, J. B., Rooney, W. L., & Bowling, R. D.