Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 27, 2009
Publication Date: January 4, 2010
Citation: Bell, A.A., Medrano, E.G., Lopez, J., Esquivel, J. 2010. Internal boll rots associated with feeding by Hemipterous insects: A review [abstract]. Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 4-7, 2010, New Orleans, Louisiana. 2010 CDROM. Technical Abstract: When stink bugs, plant bugs and cotton fleahoppers feed on bolls and buds, the locks within the boll often become discolored or rotted. Such symptoms are usually caused by microbial pathogens introduced by insects. The roles of pathogens have been determined by antiseptically isolating microorganisms from locks of field-grown bolls prior to opening; isolating pathogens from sterile water washes of insects; and caging of feral insects on greenhouse grown bolls followed by antiseptic isolations. Pathogenicity has been confirmed through inoculation with fine needles. The results of these studies show that a variety of bacteria, including Bacillus, Pantoea, Flavomonas, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Serratia and Enterobacter species, and fungi, including Nematospora coryli, Phoma exigua and Verticillium nigrescens, are introduced by insect feeding and cause internal boll rots. Understanding insect/plant pathogen relationships may also allow establishment of better thresholds for insecticide treatments since boll damage is confounded by infestation of the insect with highly virulent plant pathogens. Seed cotton losses resulting from N. coryli varied from less than 10 percent to more than 90 percent in different popular cultivars further indicating the host resistance to the introduced microbe may be achieved by breaking.