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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cereal and Grass Hosts of the Rice Root Aphid, Rhopalosiphum Rufiabdominalis (Sasaki), and a Description of An Efficient Greenhouse Rearing Technique

Authors
item Kindler, Dean
item HESLER, LOUIS
item ELLIOTT, NORMAN
item Shufran, Kevin
item SPRINGER, TIMOTHY

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 2004
Publication Date: January 10, 2004
Citation: Kindler, D., Helser, L.S., Elliott, N.C., Shufran, K.A., Springer, T.L. 2004. Cereal and grass hosts of the rice root aphid, Rhopalosiphum rufiabdominalis (Sasaki), and a description of an efficient greenhouse rearing technique. Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology. 21(1)51-59.

Interpretive Summary: The rice root aphid occasionally infests wheat in the southern states. Very little is known about its effect on wheat yield, although anecdotal reports suggest that it can occasionally cause severe reductions. Very little information exists about the aphid with regard to its alternate hosts and techniques for rearing the aphid outside of its natural environment. Such information is important for determining the pest status of the rice root aphid and developing strategies to manage it. A low cost technique for large scale rearing was developed using a soil- based medium with cedar chips used to cover seeds of the host plant ('Elbon' rye). This rearing system requires minimal labor and no specialized equipment, and will facilitate research on the aphid. The rearing technique was used to rear rice root aphids for greenhouse tests to evaluate rice root aphid survival and reproduction on selected grasses and cultivated cereals that might serve as alternate hosts in the field. Cereal rye and Altai wildrye were determined to be the most suitable hosts based on reproductive rates and aphid survival. These entries were followed by wheat, barley, and oats. Rice and sorghum were poor hosts for the aphid, while corn was a non-host. Generally, grasses were inferior hosts for rice root aphids when compared with cultivated cereals. The results of this study pave the way for more detailed research on the biology of this potentially important pest of wheat in the southern states.

Technical Abstract: The rice root aphid, Rhopalosiphum rufiabdominalis (Sasaki), occasionally infests wheat in the southern states. Very little is known about the aphid with regard to its alternate hosts and appropriate techniques for rearing the aphid outside of its natural environment. A low cost technique for large scale rearing of the rice root aphid was developed using a soil-based medium with cedar chips used to cover seeds of the host plant ('Elbon' rye). This rearing system requires minimal labor and no specialized equipment. The technique was used to rear rice root aphids for use in greenhouse tests to evaluate rice root aphid survival and reproduction on selected grasses and cultivated cereals. Cereal 'Elbon' rye and Altai wildrye were determined to be the most suitable hosts based on reproductive rates and aphid survival. These cereals were followed by 'TAM 110' wheat, 'OK 91806' barley, and 'Okay' oats. Rice and sorghum were poor hosts, while corn was a non-host. Generally, grasses were inferior hosts for rice root aphids when compared with cultivated cereals.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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