Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Yolanda Chen

Project Collaborators

Elisabeth Hodgdon

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Plant and Soil Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Presentation Title

Absence of host-associated mating shapes application of swede midge pheromone mating disruption

Time

10:10 AM

Location

Jost Foundation Room

Abstract

Swede midge (Contarinia nasturtii; Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is a devastating invasive pest that causes drastic losses for heading Brassica crops such as broccoli and cauliflower in the northeastern United States and Canada. Swede midge severely damages susceptible crops via larval feeding, leading to plant deformation, unmarketable produce, and complete loss of marketable heads. Technologies are needed to prevent females from laying eggs on host plants since even a single midge can lead to unmarketable cauliflower heads. Pheromone mating disruption (PMD) is a pest management technique that involves the use of synthetic female sex pheromones to prevent males from locating mates. Understanding midge reproductive behaviour, such as where swede midge mate, will guide optimization of PMD in swede midge management by informing where to install pheromone dispensers. Some phytophagous insects will migrate to host plants before mating while others will mate at the site of emergence regardless of the absence of host plants. We tested whether the presence of host or non-host plants influences the mating success in swede midge. We caged an unmated female with three unmated males containing either a cauliflower host plant (host), or non-host plants including artificial, tomato, or swiss chard plants. Afterward female midges were transferred to cages with host plants, and the presence of larvae was measured as an indicator of successful mating. We found that the presence of non-host plants did not impact mating success.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Absence of host-associated mating shapes application of swede midge pheromone mating disruption

Swede midge (Contarinia nasturtii; Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) is a devastating invasive pest that causes drastic losses for heading Brassica crops such as broccoli and cauliflower in the northeastern United States and Canada. Swede midge severely damages susceptible crops via larval feeding, leading to plant deformation, unmarketable produce, and complete loss of marketable heads. Technologies are needed to prevent females from laying eggs on host plants since even a single midge can lead to unmarketable cauliflower heads. Pheromone mating disruption (PMD) is a pest management technique that involves the use of synthetic female sex pheromones to prevent males from locating mates. Understanding midge reproductive behaviour, such as where swede midge mate, will guide optimization of PMD in swede midge management by informing where to install pheromone dispensers. Some phytophagous insects will migrate to host plants before mating while others will mate at the site of emergence regardless of the absence of host plants. We tested whether the presence of host or non-host plants influences the mating success in swede midge. We caged an unmated female with three unmated males containing either a cauliflower host plant (host), or non-host plants including artificial, tomato, or swiss chard plants. Afterward female midges were transferred to cages with host plants, and the presence of larvae was measured as an indicator of successful mating. We found that the presence of non-host plants did not impact mating success.