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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Biology and Host-Plant Relationships of the Hessian Fly: Past and Current Research

Authors
item Harris, M - NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIV
item Williams, Christie
item Ratcliffe, R - USDA-ARS-MWA (RETIRED)
item Foster, S - NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIV
item Griffin, W - ICFR NEW ZEALAND
item Kanno, H - JAPAN SCI & TECH CORP
item Morris, B - HFRI NEW ZEALAND
item Ohm, H - PURDUE UNIVERSITY
item Pickering, R - ICFR NEW ZEALAND
item Rani, U - HFRI NEW ZEALAND
item Shukle, Richard
item Stuart, J - PURDUE UNIV.
item Zeismann, J - HFRI NEW ZEALAND

Submitted to: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Plant Genetic Resources
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1999
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Citation: Harris, M.O., Williams, C.E., Ratcliffe, R.H., Foster, S.P., Griffin, W., Kanno, H., Morris, B.D., Ohm, H.W., Pickering, R.A., Rani, U., Shukle, R.H., Stuart, J.J., Zeismann, J. 2004. Biology and host-plant relationships of the hessian fly: past and current research. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Plant Genetic Resources. p. 31-44.

Interpretive Summary: After being introduced from Europe into the United States in the late 18th century, the Hessian fly became a serious pest of wheat. This prompted a search for wheats resistant to Hessian fly attack; a search that eventually led to the breeding of improved resistant cultivars. In this paper, we briefly review key aspects of the biology and host-plant relationships of the Hessian fly, and then briefly describe a number of current Hessian fly/wheat research programs. Information is presented on wheat attractants to the insect, resistance gene deployment, Hessian fly population biology and molecular genetics of wheat and Hessian fly. These results are important to other scientists studying resistance to gall midges because similar mechanisms of resistance and virulence may occur in other interactions.

Technical Abstract: In the United States, common wheat bred for resistance to the Hessian fly is known as one of the great success stories in plant breeding for resistance to insect pests. After being introduced from Europe into the United States in the late 18th century, the Hessian fly became a serious pest of wheat. This prompted a search for wheats resistant to Hessian fly attack, a search that eventually led to the breeding of improved resistant cultivars. Since the 1950s, Hessian fly-resistant wheat cultivars have been available for the central Midwestern regions of the USA, with 60 cultivars released from 1950 to 1983 (Ratcliffe and Hatchett, 1997). The deployment of these resistant cultivars has resulted in significant reductions in crop losses to Hessian fly. Unfortunately their deployment has also led to the evolution of Hessian fly populations that are unaffected by particular resistance traits. The evolution of these adapted or virulent biotypes has necessitated ongoing wheat breeding programmes for Hessian fly resistance, breeding programs that anticipate the need for wheat cultivars with new resistance traits. In this paper, we briefly review key aspects of the biology and host-plant relationships of the Hessian fly, and then briefly describe a number of current Hessian fly/wheat research programs. For each of the latter, a contact e-mail address is provided for one of the primary investigators. These addresses have been provided by investigators in the hope of promoting communication among scientists studying cecidomyiids. For more detailed information on the genetics of the Hessian fly/wheat interaction, readers are referred to a recent review by Ratcliffe and Hatchett (1997).

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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