1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To identify all EPG waveforms for adult lygus bug feeding and define the biological meanings of the waveforms, especially whether adult lygus ingest from any particular cell type. To quantitatively compare the feeding behavior of younger nymphs, older nymphs, and adult lygus bugs on resistant and susceptible plants.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Electrical penetration graph (EPG) monitoring of insect feeding will be used to identify and define all feeding behaviors of adult lygus bugs, including ingestion, salivation, and laceration, and in which cell types these behaviors occur.
3. Progress Report:
This research is in support of Objective 3 of the in-house project (determine biological/ecological/transmission properties of Xylella fastidiosa [Xf]), by comparing feeding of a non-Xf-vector pest species in grape, Lygus hesperus, with feeding of Xf vectors. Objectives of this project were narrowed by the cooperator (Monsanto Co.) to studying feeding behavior of lygus nymphs and adults on susceptible cotton only, due to legal issues with proprietary resistant varieties. Funds for this project were received by ARS scientists in February 2013. A subordinate cooperative agreement was inked with and funds transferred to the University of California, Davis, to provide expertise on lygus collection and rearing, and to hire a post-doctoral associate to perform the bulk of the research. The post-doc will begin work in mid-August 2013. In the meantime, a summer intern has been hired to begin collecting lygus bugs, planting and rearing cotton, and preliminary EPG recordings. The main work of the project will be well underway by the end of September 2013.