Start Date: Dec 17, 2005
End Date: Dec 16, 2010
Studies will be conducted to investigate effects of diet on pheromone production by boll weevils, effects of the trap environment on boll weevil colonization patterns and captures in traps, and methods to locate and manage sources of weevil re-infestations. New methods will be developed to determine the reproductive/physiological development of southern green stink bugs and their utilization of wild host plants and crops. Dissections to identify reproductive/physiological characteristics and neuropeptide chemistry/biostable mimic technology will combine to reveal basic southern green stink bug biology and mechanisms for their behavior and ecology. This information will help determine the timing and approaches to manage southern green stink bug populations. Various pest sampling technologies and techniques will be evaluated relative to a reference sampling method in cotton to determine an efficient and effective sampling technology. Cotton fleahopper dispersal from uncultivated plants and colonization of early-season cotton fields will be determined relative to weather and physiological characteristics of the host plants. Plant stage-dependent feeding and oviposition activity, and consequent instar- or stage-dependent plant injury will be defined. Completion of the research will result in new sampling technologies and cotton fleahopper management guidelines. Knowledge of the role of neuropeptides will be developed which will lead to the development of neuropeptide mimics that resist degradation by enzymes in the digestive tract, hemolymph, and tissues. Research will be conducted to identify neuropeptides, and to develop and evaluate neuropeptide mimics that can regulate diuresis, ecdysis, diapause, and reproduction as tools to study the biology of sucking bugs and as pest insect management agents.