Submitted to: Trifolium Conference Abstract & Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2000
Publication Date: June 20, 2000
Citation: Byers, R.A., Pederson, G.A., Voigt, P.W. 2000. Evaluating white clover for resistance to sitona hispidulus larvae. Trifolium Conference: Abstract & Proceedings. 2000. p. 5. Technical Abstract: White clover production in pastures is usually regarded as cyclic (good "white clover years" resulting in high clover content in the sward, increased nitrogen fixation, and better animal performance, and "poor years" the opposite). The clover root curculio, Sitona hispidulus (F.), is a major pest of white clover, alfalfa, and red clover (Godfrey and Yeargan, ,1987; Godfrey, 1989; Hower et al., 1995; James et. al., 1980, Jewett, 1934). Adults feed on leaves, notching the margins. Their feeding is not economically important. The most damaging stage is the larvae which destroy nitrogen fixing nodules, secondary roots, and tap roots. Roots injured by the larvae develop root rot which eventually kills the plant (Kilpatrick and Dunn, 1958; Leath and Hower, 1994). Reduced root feeding damage could lead to plants with longer lived roots and longer surviving individual clover ramets, through mechanisms such as increased drought resistance (better root system integrity),and a reduced rate of secondary fungal infections (fewer root rots). Certainly any genetic progress we would make has the potential to be useful to sustained white clover production,not only in Northeast regional pastures, but also in most of the states east of the Mississippi River where clover is a significant part of the pasture system.