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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGICALLY BASED MANAGEMENT OF BOLL WEEVILS AND OTHER ROW CROP PESTS UNDER TRANSITION TO BOLL WEEVIL ERADICATION IN TEMPERATE REGIONS

Location: Insect Control and Cotton Disease Research Unit

Title: Boll wall thickness in four cotton species and susceptibility to stink bug feeding

Authors
item Esquivel, Jesus
item Hinze, Lori

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 17, 2012
Publication Date: May 11, 2012
Citation: Esquivel, J.F., Hinze, L.L. 2012. Boll wall thickness in four cotton species and susceptibility to stink bug feeding. Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conference. p. 895-900.

Interpretive Summary: Southern green stink bug adults use needle-like mouthparts to feed on cotton bolls and introduce pathogens. The depths to which these mouthparts can penetrate are known, and knowing the thickness of boll walls in cotton species may aid in determining which bolls are susceptible to stink bug feeding. The objective of this study was to determine whether boll wall thickness differed between four cotton species (Gossypium arboretum, G. barbadense, G. herbaceum and G. hirsutum). Overall average thickness was greatest in G. barbadense (1.74 mm); average wall thickness was lowest in G. herbaceum (0.96 mm). Average wall thicknesses for G. arboretum and G. hirsutum were 1.69 mm and 1.56 mm, respectively. At 1-d after bloom, maximum wall thickness was 1.11 mm (G. barbadense). Maximum wall thicknesses was observed at 14-d after bloom, with averages ranging from 1.01 mm (G. herbaceum) to 2.14 mm (G. barbadense). Results indicate 1-d old bolls of all cotton species are susceptible to complete penetration of the boll wall by stink bugs. Also, despite maximum average wall thickness at 14-d within most species, these boll walls remained within the range of penetration of adult stink bug mouthparts. In addition to potentially contributing to selection of cotton genotypes that may minimize stink bug feeding, these findings should prompt producers to implement proactive monitoring efforts for stink bugs earlier in the cotton-growing season.

Technical Abstract: Southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), adults can introduce pathogens into cotton bolls while feeding. Stylet penetration estimates of southern green stink bugs are known, and knowledge of boll wall thickness in cotton species may aid in determining susceptibility of bolls to stink bug feeding. The objective of this study was to determine whether boll wall thickness differed between four cotton species (Gossypium arboretum, G. barbadense, G. herbaceum and G. hirsutum). Overall, G. barbadense exhibited the highest mean wall thickness (mean +/- SEM [n]; 1.74 mm +/- 0.01 [1,102]); lowest mean wall thickness was observed in G. herbaceum (0.96 +/- 0.01 [706]). Mean wall thicknesses for G. arboretum and G. hirsutum were 1.69 ) +/- 0.01 {1,102) and 1.56 (+/- 0/01 [1.102]), respectively. At 1-d after bloom, maximum wall thickness was 1.11 mm (G. barbadense). For most species, maximum wall thickness was observed at 14-d after bloom, with means ranging from 1.01 (G. herbaceum) to 2.14 mm (G. barbadense). Results indicate 1-d old bolls of all cotton species are susceptible to stink bug stylets breaching of the internal surface of the carpel wall. Further, despite maximum mean wall thickness at 14-d within most species, these boll walls remained within the range of stylet penetration by adult stink bugs. In addition to potentially contributing to selection of cotton genotypes that may minimize stink bug penetration of carpel walls, these findings should alter the management of stink bugs through proactive monitoring earlier in the cotton-growing season in lieu of reactive control measures after stink bugs are detected later in the season.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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