The wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella Keifer) is the only known vector of three viruses in wheat-Wheat streak mosaic virus, Wheat mosaic virus, and Triticum mosaic virus. The economic impact of this disease complex is linked to the presence of suitable hosts prior to winter wheat maturing in early summer and the movement of wheat curl mite from wheat to oversummering hosts prior to wheat harvest. Previous research has documented the prevalence and density of mite populations on maturing wheat heads; however, these studies were limited to a few late stages of wheat. A study was conducted to evaluate mite population densities across all stages of head development to determine when wheat curl mites are most abundant and the relative increase in abundance over time. In addition, a study was conducted to evaluate the impact of rainfall onmite populations during wheat heading. A final study was conducted to determine the potential for direct infestation of seedlings germinating from wheat curl mite-infested wheat heads. Results showed a rapid buildup in mite populations from low densities in early heading and peaking at the hard dough stage, with nearly all wheat heads having some mite presence. In addition, high mite populations resulted in direct infestation of germinated seedlings from the early through hard dough stages. Rainfall applications had no observable impact on mite population densities in wheat heads. These results demonstrate the increased potential for mites to infest hosts prior to winter wheat maturing and illustrate the increased risk for these hosts to serve as oversummering hosts.
The wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella Keifer, is an eriophyid pest of wheat, although its primary economic impact on wheat is due to the transmission of Wheat streak mosaic (WSMV), Wheat mosaic (also known as High Plains virus), and Triticum mosaic (TriMV) viruses. These viruses cause significant annual losses in winter wheat production throughout the western Great Plains. Temperature and humidity are factors that often influence arthropod survival, especially during dispersal from their hosts, yet the impact of these two factors on off-host survival has not been documented for wheat curl mite. Pathogen-infected host plants often influence the biology and behavior of vectors, yet it is not known if virus-infected wheat affects off-host survival of wheat curl mite. The objectives of this study were to 1) determine if temperature, relative humidity, and mite genotype impact off-host survival of wheat curl mite and 2) determine the effect of WSMV- and TriMV-infected host plants on off-host survival of wheat curl mite. Temperature and relative humidity significantly affected off-host survival of wheat curl mite. Length of survival decreased with increasing temperature (106.2 h at 10 degrees C and 17.0 h at 30 degrees C) and decreasing relative humidity (78.1 h at 95 and 21.3 h at 2%). Mites from TriMV-infected host plants had similar to 20% reduction in survival at 20 degrees C compared with those from WSMV-infected plants. The duration of off-host survival of wheat curl mite is influenced by environmental conditions. Management strategies that target a break in host presence will greatly reduce mite densities and virus spread and need to account for these limits.
Wheat is an important food grain worldwide, and it is the primary dryland crop in the western Great Plains. A complex of three viruses (Wheat streak mosaic, Wheat mosaic, and Triticum mosaic viruses) is a common cause of loss in winter wheat production in the Great Plains. All these viruses are transmitted by the wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella Keifer). Once these viruses are established, there are no curative actions; therefore, prevention is the key to successful management. A study was designed to evaluate preventative management tactics (planting date, resistant varieties) for reducing the impact from this virus complex. The main plot treatments were three planting dates, and split-plot treatments were three wheat varieties. Varieties were planted at three different times during the fall to simulate early, recommended, and late planting dates. The varieties evaluated in this study were Mace (virus resistant), Millennium (mild tolerance), and Tomahawk (susceptible). Measurements of virus symptomology and yield were used to determine virus impact. Results consistently showed that the resistant Mace yielded more than Millennium or Tomahawk under virus pressure. In some years, delayed planting improved the yields for all varieties, regardless of their background; however, under the most severe virus pressure the combination of both management strategies was not sufficient to provide practical control of this complex. These results illustrate the importance of using a combination of management tactics for this complex, but also reinforce the importance for producers to use additional management strategies (e.g., control preharvest volunteer wheat) to manage this complex.
Soil-dwelling insects are severe pests in many agroecosystems. These pests have cryptic life cycles, making sampling difficult and damage hard to anticipate. The management of soil insects is therefore often based on preventative insecticides applied at planting or cultural practices. Wireworms, the subterranean larvae of click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae), have re-emerged as problematic pests in cereal crops in the Pacific Northwestern United States. Here, we evaluated two management strategies for wireworms in long-term field experiments: 1) treating spring wheat seed with the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam and 2) replacing continuous spring wheat with a summer fallow and winter wheat rotation. Separate experiments were conducted for two wireworm species-Limonius californicus (Mannerheim) and Limonius infuscatus (Motschulsky). In the experiment with L. californicus, spring wheat yields and economic returns increased by 24-30% with neonicotinoid treatments. In contrast, in the experiment with L. infuscatus, spring wheat yields and economic returns did not increase with neonicotinoids despite an 80% reduction in wireworms. Thus, the usefulness of seed-applied neonicotinoids differed based on the wireworm species present. In experiments with both species, we detected significantly fewer wireworms with a no-till summer fallow and winter wheat rotation compared with continuous spring wheat. This suggests that switching from continuous spring wheat to a winter wheat and summer fallow rotation may aid in wireworm management. More generally, our results show that integrated management of soil-dwelling pests such as wireworms may require both preventative insecticide treatments and cultural practices.
Wheat stem sawfly ( WSS), Cephus cinctus Norton ( Hymenoptera: Cephidae), has recently emerged as a key pest of wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) in the Great Plains and Canadian provinces. The expanding impact of WSS has caused considerable economic losses to wheat production. Solid- stem varieties of wheat remain the only effective measure of suppression of WSS, and the goal of this research was to test whether five solid- and hollow-stem varieties of winter and spring wheat reduce survival of WSS in South Dakota. We reported that solid- stem varieties had significantly lower numbers of WSS larvae, and this effect was especially evident when WSS infestation rates exceeded 15%. We also observed that the yield of solid- stem varieties was significantly lower than hollow-stem varieties when the abundance of WSS was low, but not when populations of WSS were relatively high. We did not observe consistent differences in grain quality between solid- and hollow-stem varieties, however, and in case of protein levels of grain, solid- stem wheat varieties performed better than hollow-stem wheat. We conclude that solidstem varieties of wheat appear to effectively suppress WSS survival, and reduced yield of these varieties is less apparent when populations of C. cinctus are high enough to affect the yield of hollow- stem wheat. This is the first report to describe the effectiveness of solid- stem varieties of wheat on WSS in South Dakota. More research in the state is necessary before more robust conclusions can be drawn.
The wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella Keifer, (WCM) is a global pest of bread wheat that reduces yields significantly. In addition, WCM carries Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV, family Potyviridae, genus Tritimovirus), the most significant wheat virus in North America; High Plains wheat mosaic virus (HPWMoV, genus Emaravirus, formerly High plains virus); and Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV, family Potyviridae, genus Poacevirus). Viruses carried by WCM have reduced wheat yields throughout the U.S. Great Plains for >50 yr, with average yield losses of 2-3% and occasional yield losses of 7-10%. Acaricides are ineffective against WCM, and delayed planting of winter wheat is not feasible. Five wheat breeding lines containing Cmc4, a WCM resistance gene from Aegilops tauschii, and Wsm2, a WSMV resistance gene from wheat germplasm CO960293-2 were selected from the breeding process and assessed for phenotypic reaction to WCM feeding, population increase, and the degree of WSMV, HPWMoV, and TriMV infection. Experiments determined that all five lines are resistant to WCM biotype 1 feeding and population increase, and that two breeding lines contain resistance to WSMV, HPWMoV, and TriMV infection as well. These WCM-, WSMV-, HPWMoV-, and TriMV-resistant genotypes can be used improve management of wheat yield losses from WCM-virus complexes.
Differences in stored-product psocid progeny production as a function of commodity type, percentage of cracked kernels, and wheat class were examined using laboratory bioassays. Population growth of Liposcelis bostrychophila Badonnel, Liposcelis decolor (Pearman), Liposcelis paeta Pearman, and Liposcelis entomophila (Enderlein) (Psocoptera: Liposcelididae) was highest on sorghum Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, followed by wheat, Triticum aestivum L., and rice, Oryza sativa L., whereas progeny production was negligible on wheat germ. In a second experiment that did not include L. entomophila, population growth was examined on wheat containing 0, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100% cracked kernels. Progeny production did not increase as cracked kernel content increased. Instead, progeny production peaked at 20% for L. bostrychophila adults and nymphs, at 10% for L. decolor, and at 50% for L. paeta adults; no further increases were noted beyond these levels of cracked wheat content. In a third experiment that did not include L. entomophila, progeny production was examined on eight classes of wheat: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft white winter, soft white spring, soft club, durum, soft red winter, and hard white. Overall, progeny production was higher on durum wheat than on the other classes. The results indicate that there are considerable variations in psocid population growth among the different commodities tested, and this information may be used to predict the degree to which stored commodities are susceptible to psocid infestation.
The bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi L.) is a global pest of wheat and vectors some of the most damaging strains of barley yellow dwarf virus BYDV). In years of heavy R. padi infestation, R. padi and BYDV together reduce wheat yields by 30-40% in Kansas and other states of the U.S. Great Plains wheat production area. Cultivation of wheat cultivars resistant to R. padi can greatly reduce production costs and mitigate R. padi-BYDV yield losses, and increase producer profits. This study identified cultivars of hard red and soft white winter wheat with R. padi resistance that suppress R. padi populations or tolerate the effects of R. padi feeding damage. 'Pioneer S) 25R40,' 'MFAS) 2248,' Pioneer S) 25R77,' and 'Limagrain LCS Mint' significantly reduced R. padi populations. MFA S) 2248, Pioneer S) 25R40, and ` Limagrain LS Wizard' exhibited tolerance expressed as significantly greater aboveground biomass. These findings are significant in that they have identified wheat cultivars currently available to producers, enabling the immediate improvement of tactics to manage R. padi and BYDV in heavily infested areas. Secondarily, these results identify cultivars that are good candidates for use in breeding and genetic analyses of arthropod resistance genes in wheat.
A critical density of four third-instar larvae per 900 cm(2) for European chafer, Rhizotrogus (Amphimallon) majalis (Razoumowsky), in winter wheat, Triticum aestivum L., was derived from small-plot greenhouse and field experiments conducted under favorable crop growing conditions at several Ontario and Michigan locations from 2001-2003. On average, plant weight was decreased by 14% and plant stand by 11% between zero and four larvae per 900 cm(2). In a commercial field under moisture stress, a yield loss of 35% occurred at a density of two third-instars per 900 cm(2). In short-term greenhouse experiments, density-dependent mortality was evident, whereas low larval recovery in field experiments indicates a high level of overwintering mortality, regardless of larval density. Winter wheat seed treatments of neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam provided protection from damage by larvae, but the level of protection was inconsistent between greenhouse and field small plots, and there was no apparent difference in protection amongst active ingredients or between application rates. There was little evidence of larval mortality owing to seed treatment, which supports the suggestion that neonicotinoid insecticides protect seedlings from loss by a nonlethal mechanism. Overall, we estimate that a low rate of neonicotinoid insecticide used at larval densities just less than the critical density will mitigate winter wheat losses by 85%.
The Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov) is a serious pest of small grains, such as wheat and barley. High population growth rates and a broad gramineae host range have allowed this aphid to successfully establish and become pestiferous across much of North America since its invasion in the mid-1980s. Resistant wheat cultivars were developed and provided control of D. noxia until 2003, when a new biotype (designated RWA2, as contrasted with the original biotype's designation, RWA1) emerged and rapidly spread through dryland winter wheat-growing regions. RWA2 displaced RWA1 more quickly than expected, based on RWA2's advantage in RWA1-resistant wheat cultivars. Previous research suggested that RWA2 may out-compete RWA1 in cooler temperatures. Thus, we sought to determine if RWA2 had a competitive advantage over RWA1 during the overwintering period. We placed a known distribution of RWA1 and RWA2 aphids in the field for the winter at three sites across a latitudinal gradient (from northern Colorado to Texas) to test for a competitive advantage between these biotypes.Wefound overwhelming support for an overwintering competitive advantage by RWA2 over RWA1, with evidence suggesting a >10-fold advantage even at our Texas site (i.e., the site with the mildest winter). This substantial overwintering advantage helps explain the quick dispersion and displacement of RWA1 by RWA2.