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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Breeding for Hessian Fly Resistance

Author
item Ratcliffe, Roger

Submitted to: World Wide Web University Of Minnesota www.cdl.umn.edu
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 10, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: The Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say) is a destructive pest of wheat throughout the world. In the United States the insect occurs in all major wheat-growing areas from the Atlantic Coast to the Great Plains and parts of California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Wheat is the preferred host of the Hessian fly. The typical life cycle of the fly begins with fall emergence of adults from infested wheat stubble or volunteer wheat. The female oviposits on the upper leaf surface of plants. Larvae crawl to the crown of the plant where they feed. Most larvae become full grown before the onset of cold weather. The following spring, larvae transform to pupae, and adults emerge and infest wheat about the time the plants begin to joint. The most important methods of controlling Hessian fly are planting resistant wheat varieties, delayed seeding of winter wheat to escape fall infestation, and destroying volunteer wheat. Resistant varieties have provided the most reliable and economical control. Twenty-seven major genes designated H1 through H27 have been described. The existence of Hessian fly biotypes capable of infesting resistant wheats has been known for many years and long-term stability of resistance is a concern. Because Hessian fly resistance genes may eventually be rendered ineffective by virulent fly biotypes, additional sources of resistance are continually investigated. The future of Hessian fly management on wheat is promising, but will require continued research to improve durability of resistance and to stay abreast of changes in Hessian fly populations.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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