Project Number: 2034-22000-010-15-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jan 1, 2014
End Date: Sep 30, 2016
The broad goal of this research is to perform a pulse-chase experiment to study the time course of anatomical responses of cotton squares to nymphal lygus feeding. The specific objectives are to: 1) apply a standardized duration of nymphal lygus feeding to individual squares on multiple cotton plants, and then 2) use histology and light microscopy of fed-upon squares to document the cellular damage and (if possible) healing responses of the tissues after varying periods of time.
Electrical penetration graph technology will be used to measure and apply a standardized duration of feeding by nymphal lygus bugs (one at a time) to multiple cotton squares (flower buds). Plants will then be transferred to a greenhouse and held for varying holding periods (e.g., 0, ½, 1, 2, and 4 days). The test will be replicated 3 – 4 times per holding period, for a total of 15 – 20 insects and squares. After the holding periods are completed, fed-upon cotton squares will be excised, fixed, dehydrated, embedded in paraffin, sectioned, mounted on slides, stained, and examined using compound light microscopy. Anatomical changes due to damage and/or healing will be visually correlated with types of waveforms/feeding performed during the standardized duration.