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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PEST BIOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

Location: North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory

2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
Insect and weed pests continue to reduce yields and cause economic loss to farmers. Killing pest organisms with toxic chemicals has been the prevailing pest control strategy for over 50 years. The application of toxic chemicals to control weeds and insects may have a negative impact on the health of people, wildlife and the environment. Alternative cultural, physical, or mechanical pest control tactics are often underutilized when they require a higher level of planning or management than existing practices or when their effects are limited to one or a few selected target species.

Our interdisciplinary research brings emerging technological advances and integrated pest management practices together to develop short- and long-term pest management strategies for sustainable agriculture. Benefits potentially derived from this research include reduced chemical usage, improved crop production efficiency, better cultural control options for pest management, and the development of integrated pest management systems based upon a better understanding of pest biology and ecology.

The overall philosophy of the Crop Protection and Quarantine National Research Program (NP 304) is to develop and implement ecologically-based sustainable approaches to the management of native and invasive insect, mite, and weed pests through a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and chemical methodologies that reduce pest populations to acceptable levels while minimizing impacts on human health and the environment. Our research is consistent with the NP304 goals.

The overall objectives of this project are to conduct research on the basic biology and ecology of weeds and insect pests and beneficial insects in corn/soybean/wheat production systems and to develop integrated pest management systems and decision aids that provide effective and economically acceptable alternatives to prophylactic pesticide use. Our specific objectives are to:.
1)investigate the behavior and genetics underlying the resistance of corn rootworms to pest management tactics and develop novel pest management technologies for northern and western corn rootworms; .
2)reduce emerging weed and insect problems in corn/soybean and corn/soybean/wheat rotations; and.
3)develop and evaluate cultural, biological control and host plant resistance management tactics for emerging and invasive insect pests of soybean. Attaining the objectives as outlined above will provide farmers with new and refined methods of pest and crop management for improved crop productivity and quality. Our approaches are to characterize the ecology, behavior, and genetics of insect and weed pests in agricultural systems of the north central U.S. as a basis to:.
1)develop and evaluate resistance management and pest control strategies;.
2)determine pest-crop interactions and pest-landscape relationships to develop sampling/monitoring technology;.
3)optimize management tactics;.
4)assess yield loss potential;.
5)establish action thresholds;.
6)define management zones;.
7)develop risk assessment models; and.
8)improve understanding of the interactions between pest and beneficial insects and impacts of agronomic practices on beneficial insects in corn/soybean/wheat cropping systems.

Potential products of our research include:.
1)Guidelines, risk assessment models, and GIS models for site-specific pesticide application; .
2)Recommendations for transgenic crop usage and management of surviving insect populations;.
3)Improved equipment for precise and efficient application of corn rootworm eggs to field plots;.
4)Corn germplasm with natural resistance to corn rootworm larval feeding;.
5)Action thresholds that support integrated pest management decision-making for rice root aphid and bean leaf beetle;.
6)Rearing methods for continuous culture of bean leaf beetles in the laboratory and knowledge of bean leaf beetle larval feeding effects on soybean development and yield;.
7)Identification of key natural enemies and knowledge of ways to enhance their effectiveness against soybean aphid and bean leaf beetle;.
8)Soybean lines resistant to soybean aphid and assessment of their compatibility with biological control;.
9)Guidelines for integrating diverse crop rotations and alternative crop management options into ecologically-friendly weed and insect management systems; and 10) Knowledge of the genetic basis of diapause duration and reproductive biology of northern corn rootworm:.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
Year 1 (FY 2005)

Experiment 1a: Locate fields to extract pupae, obtain pupae. Establish and record matings. Begin collecting eggs.

Experiment 1b: Analyze data on baited insecticidal sprays. Manuscript preparation. (French). Spatial variability in rootworms data analysis (Ellsbury).

Experiment 1c: Obtain pupae. Establish mate competition and record matings. Begin collecting and processing eggs.

Experiment 1d: Construct new rootworm infestation. Field root damage evaluation of 250 corn lines for resistance to western corn rootworm. Greenhouse root damage trials for northern corn rootworm. Behavioral bioassay trial for northern corn rootworm.

Experiment 2a: Rootworms in volunteer corn field work. Rootworms in volunteer corn data analysis.

Experiment 2b: Wheat residue study field work. Wheat competitiveness study field work. Corn competitiveness study field work.

Experiment 2c: Evaluate plant growth and yield. Data analysis. Repeat infestation at various aphid-day dosages.

Experiment 3a: Develop bean leaf beetle rearing techniques, publish results. Develop methods for greenhouse and field studies, publish results. Quadrant sampling for predominant bean leaf beetle natural enemies, publish results.

Experiment 3b: Procure and assemble experimental materials. Make weekly evaluations of natural enemies vs. soybean aphids and exclusion cage studies. Test natural enemy response to aphid-infested plants and to volatile semiochemicals. Data analysis.

Experiment 3c: Growth chamber studies evaluate soybean lines for resistance to soybean aphid. Seed multiplication for field studies.

Year 2 (FY 2006)

Experiment 1a: Continue collecting eggs. Place eggs in cold storage. Go over protocol and modify if necessary. Begin egg hatching and processing. Continue processing egg dishes for 1 year diapause. Return eggs to cold storage. Processing egg dishes for 2 year diapause.

Experiment 1b: Submit manuscript for peer review, analyze data on corn rootworm dispersal, manuscript preparation (French). Spatial variability in rootworms data analysis (Ellsbury).

Experiment 1c: Finish mate competition experiment, begin analyzing videos, continue processing eggs. Complete data analysis, submit manuscript for publication. Obtain pupae, establish repeated mating experiment collecting and processing eggs.

Experiment 1d: Construct new rootworm infestation. Compare new and old rootworm infestations. Analyze data and prepare manuscript and submit for publication. Field root damage evaluation of 250 corn lines for resistance to western corn rootworm. Field root damage trial for northern corn rootworm. Greenhouse root damage trials for northern corn rootworm. Adult emergence trial for northern corn rootworm. Vertical root pulling force trial for northern corn rootworm. Behavioral bioassay trial for northern corn rootworm.

Experiment 2a: Rootworms in volunteer corn field work. Rootworms in volunteer corn data analysis. Rootworms in volunteer corn publish results.

Experiment 2b: Wheat residue study field work. Wheat competitiveness study field work. Corn competitiveness study field work.

Experiment 2c: Evaluate plant growth and yield. Data analysis. Complete data analysis; summarize findings. Test wheat plants versus rice root aphid, barley yellow dwarf virus, or RRA +BYDV.

Experiment 3a: Develop bean leaf beetle rearing techniques, publish results. Develop methods for greenhouse and field studies, publish results. Greenhouse studies – larval damage effects on soybean physiology, publish results. Field studies-larval damage and soybean yield and quality, publish results, technology transfer. Quadrant sampling for predominant bean leaf beetle natural enemies publish results.

Experiment 3b: Data analysis. Procure and revamp experimental materials. Make weekly evaluations of natural enemies vs soybean aphids and exclusion cage studies. Test natural enemy response to aphid-infested plants and to volatile semiochemicals.

Experiment 3c: Growth chamber studies evaluate soybean lines for resistance to soybean aphid. Trial conducted to characterize resistance of soybean lines as antixenosis and or tolerance. Natural enemies tested on aphid resistant soybean lines for their ability to be used as oviposition sites. Seed multiplication for field studies. Field study to evaluate the relative resistance of soybean varieties to aphids and their impact on natural enemy performance. Analyze data and write manuscript on studies.

Year 3 (FY 2007)

Experiment 1a: Processing egg dishes for 2 year diapause. Summarize data from parental crosses. Begin manuscript. Continue with manuscript. Begin mass matings. Submit manuscript for publication. Continue mass matings.

Experiment 1b: Manuscript preparation, submit manuscript for peer review publication, risk assessment model (French). Spatial variability in rootworms publish results (Ellsbury).

Experiment 1c: Obtain pupae. Establish repeated mating experiment collecting and processing eggs. Data analysis.

Experiment 1d: Analyze data and prepare manuscript and submit for publication. Field root damage trial for northern corn rootworm. Greenhouse root damage trials for northern corn rootworm. Adult emergence trial for northern corn rootworm. Vertical root pulling force trial for northern corn rootworm. Behavioral bioassay trial for northern corn rootworm.

Experiment 2a: Rootworms in volunteer corn publish results.

Experiment 2b: Wheat residue study field work. Wheat residue study data analysis. Wheat competitiveness study data analysis. Wheat competitiveness study publish results. Corn competitiveness study field work. Corn competitiveness study data analysis.

Experiment 2c: Data analysis. Begin a second, identical round to test rice root aphid, barley yellow dwarf virus, and RRA +BYDV. Complete data analysis. Summarize findings/write manuscript. Submit manuscript.

Experiment 3a: Develop bean leaf beetle rearing techniques, publish results. Develop methods for greenhouse and field studies, publish results. Greenhouse studies – Larval damage effects on soybean physiology, publish results. Field studies – larval damage and soybean yield and quality, publish results, technology transfer. Collaborative field studies on nodule feeding and economic thresholds, publish results, technology transfer. Outplanting bean leaf beetle eggs and larvae for predation studies, publish results.

Experiment 3b: Data analysis. Summarize findings. Write manuscript on 2005-6 studies. Procure and assemble test materials. Determine if populations/distribution of key natural enemies can be manipulated by attractants. Submit manuscript on 2005-6 studies.

Experiment 3c: Growth chamber studies evaluate soybean lines for resistance to soybean aphid. Trial conducted to characterize resistance of soybean lies as antibiosis, antixenosis and or tolerance. Natural enemies tested on aphid resistant soybean lines for their ability to be used as oviposition sites. Natural enemies tested on aphid resistant soybean lines for their effect on foraging rate of predators. Seed multiplication for field studies. Field study to evaluate the relative resistance of soybean varieties to aphids and their impact on natural enemy performance. Analyze data and write manuscript on studies.

Year 4 (FY 2008)

Experiment 1a: Process eggs for 1 year diapause, return eggs for 2 year diapause, continue processing eggs for 1 year diapause.

Experiment 1b: Risk assessment model, run and validate risk assessment model, manuscript review (French).

Experiment 1c: Manuscript preparation. If needed, continue processing eggs, continue data analysis and manuscript preparation. Submit manuscript for publication. Obtain pupae, establish male mating capacity experiment.

Experiment 1d: Analyze data and prepare manuscript and submit for publication. Evaluation of 250 corn lines for resistance to northern corn rootworm using best method or methods.

Experiment 2b: Wheat residue study data analysis. Wheat residue study publish results. Wheat competitiveness study publish results. Corn competitiveness study data analysis. Corn competitiveness study publish results.

Experiment 3a: Greenhouse studies – Larval damage effects on soybean physiology, publish results. Field studies – larval damage and soybean yield and quality, publish results, technology transfer. Collaborative field studies on nodule feeding and economic thresholds, publish results, technology transfer. Outplanting bean leaf beetle eggs and larvae for predation studies, publish results.

Experiment 3b: Data analysis. Procure and revamp experimental materials. Determine if populations/distribution of key natural enemies can be manipulated by attractants.

Evaluate 3c: Growth chamber studies evaluate soybean lines for resistance to soybean aphid. Trial conducted to characterize resistance of soybean lies as antibiosis, antixenosis and or tolerance. Natural enemies tested on aphid resistant soybean lines for their effect on foraging rate of predators. Palatability of aphids produced on the different soybean lines tested. Seed multiplication for field studies. Field study to evaluate the relative resistance of soybean varieties to aphids and their impact on natural enemy performance. Analyze data and write manuscript on studies.

Year 5 (FY 2009)

Experiment 1a: Continue processing eggs for 1 year diapause, summarize data from F1 crosses, manuscript preparation.

Experiment 1b: Run and validate risk assessment model, manuscript preparation, submit manuscript for peer review publication, modify model (French).

Experiment 1c: Obtain pupae, establish male mating capacity experiment. Data analysis and manuscript preparation. Submit manuscript for publication.

Experiment 1d: Evaluation of 250 corn lines for resistance to northern corn rootworm using best method or methods.

Experiment 2b: Corn competitiveness study publish results.

Experiment 3a: Greenhouse studies – Larval damage effects on soybean physiology, publish results. Field studies – larval damage and soybean yield and quality, publish results, technology transfer. Collaborative field studies on nodule feeding and economic thresholds, publish results, technology transfer. Outplanting bean leaf beetle eggs and larvae for predation studies, publish results.

Experiment 3b: Data analysis. Summarize findings; write manuscript. Procure and assemble experimental materials.

Experiment 3c: Growth chamber studies evaluate soybean lines for resistance to soybean aphid. Trial conducted to characterize resistance of soybean lies as antibiosis, antixenosis and or tolerance. Palatability of aphids produced on the different soybean lines tested. Seed multiplication for field studies. Field study to evaluate the relative resistance of soybean varieties to aphids and their impact on natural enemy performance. Analyze data and write manuscript on studies.

Year 6 (FY 2010)

Experiment 1a: Submit manuscript for publication.

Experiment 1b: Modify model (French).

Experiment 1c: Submit manuscript for publication.

Experiment 3a: Field studies – larval damage and soybean yield and quality, publish results, technology transfer. Collaborative field studies on nodule feeding and economic thresholds, publish results, technology transfer.

Experiment 3c: Analyze data and write manuscript on studies.


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
Date of planting affects insect pest and viral disease levels in winter wheat: Planting date effects on arthropod infestation and viral plant disease are undocumented for winter wheat in South Dakota and the northern Great Plains. Winter wheat was planted over three dates (early, middle, and late; generally from late August to late September) at two sites in South Dakota over three consecutive cropping seasons to determine the effect on abundance of insect pests, incidence of plant damage, incidence of viral plant disease, and grain yield. Cereal aphid infestations were greater in early versus late plantings, and damage to seedling wheat by chewing insects was greater in early and middle plantings. The incidence of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) declined with later planting and was correlated with autumnal abundance of cereal aphids. Yield at Brookings was negatively correlated with BYDV incidence but not cereal-aphid abundance, whereas yield at Highmore was negatively correlated with aphid abundance but not BYDV incidence. Thus, winter wheat producers may benefit from planting on September 20 or later because of reduced damage from chewing insects, and from reduced cereal aphid infestations and resulting BYDV incidence.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
Changes within the ladybird beetle fauna: A rich fauna of ladybird beetles occurs in eastern South Dakota, but the abundance of some species has declined in association with the establishment there of the Eurasian seven-spotted ladybird beetle (C7) in the mid-1980s. Ladybird beetles were sampled from field-crop and grass habitats in eastern South Dakota over a six-year period to determine the effects of habitat management on abundance. Field crops (maize, wheat-alfalfa intercrop, and alfalfa) were subjected to high, intermediate, or low management intensity, and grass habitats were managed for stands of warm season, cool season, or mixed species, but ladybird beetle abundance was seldom affected by management. Four native species and C7 comprised 96% of all ladybird beetles sampled. Of declining species, only four transverse ladybird beetles were collected, and no two-spotted or nine-spotted ladybird beetles were collected. Results showed that the C7 has become relatively abundant in eastern South Dakota, whereas some native species of ladybird beetle have become rare.

Characterization of bean leaf beetle larval feeding damage in soybean: In addition to defoliating plants and transmitting soybean viruses, the larvae of bean leaf beetle consume soybean roots. For the first time, we characterized the damage of bean leaf beetle larvae to soybean plants. Bean leaf beetle larvae consume soybean nodules, causing the plant to produce additional nodules and affecting the nitrogen balance and photosynthetic capabilities of the plant. Larval feeding will need to be incorporated into management considerations for this insect pest.

Characterization of tillage practices for reduced weed growth and improved crop yield: Crop residues left on the soil surface with no-till can reduce corn growth due to cool soils in the spring. A field study compared three tillage systems, strip-till, no-till, and conventional-till, for impact on corn yield following spring wheat. Early corn growth was delayed with strip-till and no-till, but the crop compensated with late season growth; yield did not differ among treatments with weed-free conditions. However, corn was more tolerant of weeds with strip-till and no-till than with conventional-till. Weed seedling emergence was higher and earlier with conventional-till due to warmer soils and seed burial in soil by tillage. Weed biomass in conventional-till was fourfold greater compared with strip-till or no-till. Yield loss due to weeds was threefold greater with conventional-till compared with the other treatments. Strip-till and no-till cropping systems may help weed management by reducing weed densities and growth. Soybean crop cultural practices for bean leaf beetle population management: Bean leaf beetle, an emerging soybean insect pest of great economic importance in the U.S., has three subterranean immature (larval) stages that feed on underground portions of soybean plants. Because bean leaf beetle larvae consume soybean root nodules, crop cultural practices that affect soybean nodulation may have the added function of reducing bean leaf beetle populations. In greenhouse and field studies, we investigated the impact of soil nitrogen management on soybean nitrogen relations and bean leaf beetle population dynamics. Our preliminary findings suggest that bean leaf beetle larvae obtained from soybean plants given nitrogen starter fertilizer were smaller than those obtained from plants that were not given starter fertilizer. Because the mechanisms mediating these interactions were not readily apparent, further research on the feeding behavior of bean leaf beetle larvae, as well as the mechanisms underlying the relationships between soybeans, nitrogen, and bean leaf beetle, is underway. Successful completion of this research, which will result in soil nitrogen fertilizer application recommendations for soybeans that will reduce larval feeding damage without using insecticides, will allow soybean farmers to decrease production costs and increase soybean yield, quality, and profitability.

Plant resistance to the soybean aphid: The soybean aphid (SBA) has become a key pest of soybeans in the upper Midwest, and it is controlled primarily by insecticides. Alternative means of SBA control, such as host-plant resistance, are needed to decrease input costs and minimize environmental impacts that result from insecticide applications. A study conducted within environmental chambers identified several lines of soybean that are resistant to SBA. The nature of the resistance in those lines is being characterized, and the resistant lines have been shared with a university soybean breeder, who has crossed them with contemporary cultivars. A potential outcome of the research could be the production of SBA-resistant cultivars that will result in savings to growers and minimization of environmental impact from decreases in insecticide application.

Suppression of adult corn rootworms with semiochemical insecticides: More insecticide is applied to corn than any other crop in the U.S. Most of this insecticide is targeted against corn rootworms. In experiments conducted in the South Dakota Corn Rootworm Areawide Management Sites, we examined the efficacy of aerially applied semiochemical baited insecticides for suppression of adult western and northern corn rootworm populations over a 5 year period (1997 – 2001). Timing of insecticide application was based on action thresholds of adult beetles captured in Pherocon AM yellow sticky and CRW lure traps. We found significant reductions in the number of both adult western and northern corn rootworm captured one and two weeks following application – with populations remaining low thereafter. This method of managing corn rootworm populations could substantially reduce the amount of insecticides applied for corn rootworm control and has been adopted in some parts of the U.S. Corn Belt.


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
None


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
The research reported is conducted under National Program 304, Crop Protection & Quarantine. The overall philosophy of this Research Program is to develop and implement ecologically-based sustainable approaches to the management of native and invasive insect, mite, and weed pests through a combination of biological, cultural, physical, and chemical methodologies that reduce pest populations to acceptable levels while minimizing impacts on human health and the environment. The research described in this project plan addresses several high-priority research needs as outlined in this National Program: A. Develop management strategies based on complementary alternative tactics to improve compatibility with agronomic/economic goals and maximize impact on insect complexes; B. Develop new and improved sampling and detection methods to improve determination of pest population action thresholds and potential yield reduction; C. Determine interactions among weed control tactics to identify synergistic combinations that optimize weed control and reduce seed bank densities in agroecosystems; and D. Develop a systems approach to pest management that results in IPM and areawide suppression programs for a majority of U.S. agricultural production systems.

Ground dwelling insect communities are poorly understood, yet the abundance of potentially beneficial insects is staggering (up to 100,000 insectivores per hectare in soybean systems). Ground beetles (Carabidae) are an important component of this community, consuming insect pests and weed seeds. Furthermore, because of the heterogeneity in feeding behaviors and physiological requirements in these species-rich communities, ground beetles are important indicators of crop production practices and pest management programs. To coordinate collaborations and facilitate information dissemination, the Midwestern Carabidologist’s Working Group was formed. A series of multi-location research projects examining how the ecology, taxonomy, genetics, and physiology of ground beetles influences pest management by these insects. One project is allowing us to use genetic markers for identifying ground beetle immature stages, as well as characterizing the genetic diversity of dominant ground beetle species throughout eastern North America. Recently characterized symbiotic relationships between gut-dwelling microbes and granivorous ground beetles will allow us to understand why some ground beetles are such effective seed predators and allow us to isolate novel seed pathogens. Farming practices have important implications for ground beetle communities, and research produced has shown that the farming intensity can influence the level of biological control inflicted on insect pests and weed seeds in organic systems. Finally, the widespread adoption of transgenic insecticidal crops has raised concerns over the environmental risks of this technology. Research at our laboratory has been instrumental in using ground beetles in the ecological risk assessment for transgenic crops, both through analyzing community structure in transgenic crops and the development of laboratory bioassays for assessing the toxicity of Cry proteins to ground beetles.

The Chinese soybean aphid, an insect pest native to Asia, is now a considered to be a major insect pest of soybean in the North Central U.S. Soybean producers lost about $120 million to soybean aphids during the 2003 growing season in Minnesota alone. Scientists from the USDA, ARS North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, in cooperation with entomologists at South Dakota State University, are developing integrated pest management systems and disseminating information about this invasive pest to their customers. During 2005 and 2006, field and laboratory experiments were conducted and research results were disseminated through talks to individual growers, invited presentations to professional and grower organizations, peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, radio and TV interviews, popular press articles, and internet sites. Research topics included soybean aphid identification, scouting methods for soybean aphid populations, measurement of aphid infestation impact on soybean seed yield and quality, investigation of the impact of biological control on soybean aphid populations, and the screening of soybean germplasm for aphid resistance. This research and technology transfer has the potential to limit the economic loss to soybean farmers and the value-added enterprises that depend on the production of large amounts of high-quality soybeans.

The perspective of weed management is changing; producers and scientists are seeking to expand their control tactics beyond herbicides and tillage. One approach is to devise production systems that emphasize management of the weed community population. With lower weed community density, cultural practices may provide a viable alternative to the use of herbicides. Cultural strategies are being developed to reduce weed community density, improve crop tolerance to weed interference, and reduce weed growth and productivity. One promising practice is to include winter wheat in the corn-soybean rotation. Winter wheat residues preserved on the soil surface can reduce weed seedling density 50 to 70% in corn or soybean compared with tilled systems. Also, two years of cool-season crops reduced seedling emergence of common sunflower 85% compared with two years of soybean; apparently, the cool-season crops decreased weed seed survival in soil. With a systematic approach to integrating cultural tactics with herbicide options, producers may be able to reduce need for herbicides 30 to 50%.

The rice root aphid infests wheat throughout North America, yet little is known about alternate hosts, appropriate rearing techniques for it, and its impact on yield. In greenhouse tests, we evaluated rice root aphid survival and reproduction on selected grasses and cultivated cereals. ‘Altai’ wildrye, ‘Elbon’ rye and other cultivated cereals were generally suitable hosts based on reproductive rates and aphid survival, whereas most non-cultivated grasses were relatively inferior hosts. During each of two field seasons, rice root aphids infested winter wheat soon after emergence and increased in number until mid-December, and then began to decline. Field populations averaged 3.6 rice root aphid per tiller over a 60-day-infestation period and reduced forage but not grain yield of wheat. The potential impact of this research is two-fold. First, it has identified suitable host plants so that scientists may conduct further studies on the rice root aphid. Second, it demonstrated the pest status of rice root aphid in winter wheat, which indicates that wheat growers should take measures to avoid or control this aphid.

Meaningful sources of plant resistance are needed against the bird cherry-oat aphid, a widespread pest of wheat. We found moderate levels of resistance to this aphid in several lines of triticale and low levels in wheat. Three papers that summarize our results have been published in scientific journals. Information in the papers is potentially useful to small-grain breeders, entomologists, and producers interested in having resistance traits transferred to wheat and other small grains. An actual impact of the research was collaboration with a university wheat breeder to use crosses between a widely planted wheat variety and one of the resistant triticale lines in tests for resistance to the bird cherry-oat aphid. Those tests have been completed, and the results are being published in a scientific journal. This will provide scientific knowledge of how resistance to the bird cherry-oat has performed in wheat lines and serve to guide future research.

In 2003, a corn variety (MON 863) containing the Bt protein toxin (Cry3Bb1) that deters feeding by corn rootworm larvae, was approved for commercial use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Through two CRADAs, we continued to collaborate with Monsanto Company on research and development of these new technologies. We also supplied them with millions of western corn rootworm eggs for research and evaluation of various corn varieties. This MON 863 corn event was released under the trade name YieldGard® Rootworm. In 2004, YieldGard® Rootworm was stacked with YieldGard® Corn Borer to form YieldGard® Plus, which protects corn from both corn rootworms and corn borers. The CRADAs were instrumental in bringing this new technology to the corn producers. The effectiveness of this new technology is highlighted by the fact that the number of acres planted to insect resistant corn increased from about 19 million acres (24% of the total corn acres) in 2002 to about 32 million acres (40% of the total corn acres) in 2006. Additionally, because most insecticides are applied to corn for rootworm control, millions of pounds of insecticides have not been used to combat this insect pest complex. We continue our collaborative efforts with Monsanto to ensure producers get the most reliable and safest corn products.

When MON863 was approved for commercial use, the EPA also required that an insect resistance management (IRM) plan be developed for corn growers. The purpose of the IRM plan is to prolong the durability of the technology to help keep costs down for producers. Prolonging the product is accomplished by reducing the evolutionary rate of resistance by the corn rootworms. Because evolution is a change in gene frequency from one generation to the next, and given the inevitability of Bt resistance evolving in corn rootworms, we established an interagency agreement (IAG) with the EPA to ascertain the underlying genetic factors of Bt resistance by selecting for resistance in non-diapausing and diapausing genetically diverse populations of western corn rootworm (WCR). The diapausing colonies have undergone only two generations of selection, whereas the non-diapausing WCR colonies have undergone several generations of selection. The genetic makeup of these colonies are being analyzed and mapped by the cooperating EPA scientists. This research will provide information on the genetics of resistance evolution in corn rootworms and will benefit current and future IRM plans for transgenic corn as well as other transgenic crops.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
An ecological approach to managing perennial weeds was explained to 750 producers at a No-Till Conference in Ukraine, August 2005. Producers in the Eurasian steppe are exploring no-till systems, but perennial weeds are extensive in croplands. A major constraint to perennial weed control is effective timing of herbicides in relation to perennial weed development. Their croplands are infested with several species that differ in development during the growing season.

A project scientist continued to exchange information and work with another government agency through an IAG and industry through a CRADA on managing corn rootworm populations using transgenic corn. Some of the transgenic corn varieties have been made available to producers, while others are still undergoing research. Research results should be available to scientists within one to three years.

A presentation describing recent research findings on bean leaf beetle and soybean production in South Dakota was presented to a group of producers and consumer organizations in conjunction with a laboratory open house on 15 March 2006.

Information on soybean starter nitrogen fertilizer treatments and their effect on bean leaf beetle populations and information on breeding corn with natural resistance to corn rootworms was presented to producers, other scientists, and soil conservationists at the annual soil and water farm field day on 20 June 2006.

Information on the interactions between fertilizer use, crop rotations, and bean leaf beetle biology was presented to soil conservationists at an Introduction to Agronomy workshop held at the laboratory during the week of 5 June 2006.

Information on soybean production problems in South Dakota was presented to a local service organization on 13 June 2006.

The website for the Midwestern Carabidologist’s Working Group was established, which details events and opportunities pertaining to the study of ground beetles in the United States (log # 188834)

Information about preliminary findings regarding the predators of soybean aphid and lines that resist this aphid was presented in a research highlight of the “2005 Research Accomplishments" section, Annual Report, Eastern South Dakota Soil & Water Research Farm, 15 March 2006. The report is distributed to growers, state extension personnel, and others in the agricultural production community, and the timing of its distribution provides some of the latest research information prior to the upcoming growing season.

Information about the host-plant resistance to soybean aphid was transferred to scientists via an oral presentation entitled at an international meeting on plant resistance to insects on 12 April 2006.

All scientists from this project presented a summary of their research and technology transfer activities during an open-house tour that was conducted in conjunction with a laboratory dedication ceremony on 20 April 2006.

Seed of soybean lines resistant to the soybean aphid and information about the aphid performance on those lines was transferred to other scientists, including a soybean breeder who has crossed the lines with adapted varieties.

Information about soybean aphid and ways to manage it were presented to a group of about 30 members of the agricultural finance community on 25 July 2006.

Information on the efficacy of a block refuge for managing northern corn rootworm resistance to corn containing the Cry3Bb1 protein was presented at an insect resistance management (IRM) workshop in St. Louis, MO, October 26–28.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Soybean insect pests, corn insect pests, and natural enemies were the subjects of interviews of several scientists from the USDA, ARS, North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory. Information about the soybean aphid, bean leaf beetle, and corn rootworm, and beneficial insects that prey upon them as well as cultural (resistant lines and crop management) practices were published 7 March 2006 in a regional newspaper that is distributed to the agricultural production community throughout South Dakota, North Dakota, and adjoining states.

Scientists from this project were interviewed about their soybean insect research for a television program that highlights contemporary issues related to agriculture. Information about the soybean aphid, its effects on soybean crops, and research on ways to manage this pest was broadcast on television stations on 19 May 2006 and archived as an internet-based video stream.

An article was written for a local newspaper that outlined some of the production problems that farmers face when growing soybeans in the North Central U.S.

A written report describing research findings on bean leaf beetle and soybean production in South Dakota was presented to the Board of Directors of the local Soil and Water Research Farm on 15 March 2006.

Invited presentations on the evolution of herbivory in insects were given to the Department of Entomology at the University of Nebraska, and the Insect Biocontrol Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD.

A seminar on the impact of natural enemies against soybean aphid was presented at a land-grant university on 2 February 2006.

A seminar describing the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of soybean ureide metabolism was presented to other scientists at a local university on 26 January 2006.

A talk outlining the historical view of research, facilities, and budget at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory was presented to producers, other scientists, and consumer organizations on 13 January 2006.

A poster on the status of native and introduced coccinellids in various habitats in eastern South Dakota was presented to scientists at a national entomological meeting on 7 November 2005.

A poster describing sexual dimorphism of tarsomere one in Diabrotica and Cerotoma spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) was presented at a regional entomological meeting in Bloomington, IL on March 28.

A poster on the efficacy of using semiochemical-baits to suppress adult corn rootworm populations in the South Dakota areawide management site was presented at a national entomological meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on December 17.

A book chapter was published on the non-target effects of Bt cotton to predatory insects for the Brazilian government (log # 178734)

A monthly newspaper column, The Insect Spotlight, reaches as many as 200,000 subscribers to regional agricultural and local newspapers. All aspects of insect biology and pest management are discussed in these articles (log # 181821)

Presented a general entomology seminar for the Ag Heritage Museum’s (Brookings, SD) weekly brown bag lunch series (9 February 2006).

Talked with SDSU preschool students about insects (7 February 2006).

A poster, a proceedings paper (log # 192795), and an experiment station annual report (log # 193333) describing the effects of starter nitrogen on soybean N relations and bean leaf beetle biology were presented to a meeting of professionals from the soil fertility industry and to farmers in the State of South Dakota.


Review Publications
Clay, S., Banken, K., Forcella, F., Ellsbury, M.M., Clay, D.E., Olness, A.E. 2006. Influence of yellow foxtail on corn growth and yield. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 37:1421-1435.

Ellsbury, M.M., French, B.W., Noble, C.W., Head, G., Fuller, B.W., Pikul Jr, J.L. Winter 2005. Variation in spatial distribution and diurnal activity cycles of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) encountered in experimental settings for study of sustainability issues. American Entomologist. 51(4):219-223.

Duan, J.J., Paradise, M.S., Lundgren, J.G., Bookout, J.T., Jian, C., Wiedenmann, R.N. 2006. Assessing non-target impacts of bt corn resistant to corn rootworms: tier-1 testing with larvae of Poecilus chalcites (coleoptera: carabidae). Environmental Entomology. 35(1):135-142.

Duan, J.J., Paradise, M.S., Lundgren, J.G., Wiedenmann, R.N. 2005. Genetically modified crops and ground beetles as non-target organisms: developing dietary toxicity assays for larvae of Poecilus chalcites (Coleoptera: Carabidae). American Entomologist, 51(4):227-230.

French, B.W., Chandler, L.D., Janus, A.T., Beck, D.A., Hartman, D.A. 2005. Using semiochemical-baits to suppress adult corn rootworm populations in the South Dakota areawide management site. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. December 15-18, 2005.

Hesler, L.S., Riedell, W.E., Langham, M.A., Osborne, S.L. 2005. Insect infestations, incidence of viral plant diseases, and yield of winter wheat in relation to planting date in the northern Great Plains. Journal of Economic Entomology. 98:2020-2027.

Hesler, L.S., Ellsbury, M.M., Kieckhefer, R.W. 2005. Abundance of coccinellids (Coleoptera) in field-crop and grass habitats in eastern South Dakota. Great Lakes Entomol. 38:83-96.

Lundgren, J.G. 2005. Ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) ecology: their function and diversity in natural and agricultural habitats. American Entomologist. 51(4): 218.

Lundgren, J.G. 2005. Ground beetles as weed control agents: effects of farm management on granivory. American Entomologist. 51(4): 224-226.

Lundgren, J.G., Wiedenmann, R.N. 2005. Tritrophic interactions among bt (cry3bb1) corn, aphid prey, and the predator Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Environmental Entomology 34(6): 1621-1625.

Merrill, S.D., Krupinsky, J.M., Tanaka, D.L., Anderson, R.L. 2006. Soil coverage by residue as affected by ten crop species under no-tillage in the northern great plains. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 61:7-13.

Parimi, S., Meinke, L.J., French, B.W., Chandler, L.D., Siegfried, B.D. 2006. Stability and persistence of aldrin and methyl-parathion resistance in western corn rootworm populations (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Crop Protection Journal. 25(3), 269-274.

Tanaka, D.L., Anderson, R.L., Rao, S.C. 2003. Crop sequencing to synergize crop growth. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Proceedings. Paper No. S06-tanaka757311-oral.

Anderson, R.L. 2006. A management approach based on disrupting weed population growth. Western Society of Weed Science. pp. 204-205.

French, B.W., Hammack, L. 2006. Sexually Dimorphic Basitarsae in Diabrotica and Cerotoma spp.(Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Available at: http://esa.ent.iastate.edu/2006_bloomington/program. NCBESA Annual Meeting. Bloomington, IL, 26-29 March 2006.

Hesler, L.S., Langham, M. 2006. The dual role of aphids and other homopterans in facilitating plant diseases. APS Net, News & Views, American Phytopathological Society, St. Paul, MN. http://www.apsnet.org/education/k-12PlantPathways/NewsViews/Archive/2006_01.html.

Hesler, L.S. 2006. Book review of Invertebrate conservation and agricultural ecosystems, T.R. New (2005). Environmental Entomology 35:1138-1139.

Mcmanus, B.L., Fuller, B.W., Boetel, M.A., French, B.W., Ellsbury, M.M., Head, G.P. 2005. Abundance of lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in corn rootworm-resistant Cry3Bb1 maize. Journal of Economic Entomology. 98:1992-1998.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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