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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Southern Insect Management Research » Research » Research Project #438523

Research Project: Insect Control and Resistance Management in Corn, Cotton, Sorghum, Soybean, and Sweet Potato, and Alternative Approaches to Tarnished Plant Bug Control in the Southern United States

Location: Southern Insect Management Research

2022 Annual Report

1. Determine current insecticide susceptibilities of major insect pests of row crops in the Southern United States and develop methods to manage insecticide resistance. 1.A. Determine current insecticide susceptibilities of tarnished plant bugs, bollworms, and other major insect pests of row crops in the Southern U.S. through laboratory bioassays. 1.B. Examine insecticide resistance management strategies for insecticides with varying decay rates. 1.C. Identify and characterize resistance mechanisms involved in organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethroids and neonicotinoids resistance. 2. Evaluate the impact of agronomic practices (water management, plant nutrition and cultural practices) on tri-trophic interactions to optimize insect pest management in Southern row crops 2.A. Evaluate the impact of water management practices (oxygenated water or nanobubbles) on plant nutrition, root health, crop production and yield, pest management and other above and belowground tri-trophic interactions in Southern row crops. 2.B. Investigate the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMFs) and fungal endophytes on improving plant nutrition, host plant resistance and pest management in Southern row crops. 3. Develop and evaluate novel methods of insect control that can be integrated for optimum effectiveness and determine the sustainability of using multiple insect control tactics together. 3.A. Evaluate methods of insect control as substitutes to synthetic insecticides in row crops of the MS Delta. 3.B. Develop new approaches for the control of insect pests of sweet potato. 3.C: Develop new approaches for the control of insect pests of row crops of the MS Delta. 4. Determine population genetic characteristics of crop pests and beneficial insects including pollinators. 5. Develop and evaluate new bio-control strategies to control sucking insects in cotton crops by focusing on the use of entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes, viruses, and parasitoids. 5.A. Quantify the impact of natural control on mirid and pentatomid insect pests’ seasonal abundance and distribution. 5.B. Identify and develop new biological control options including entomopathogens and TPB egg parasitoids, as possible regulators of sucking insect pest populations. 6. Develop and implement semiochemical-based trapping methods to monitor populations of insect pests and their natural enemies in cotton cropping systems.

Studies will be carried out on the impact of agronomic practices (water management, plant nutrition, and cultural practices) on tri-trophic interactions to optimize insect pest management in Southern row crops.

Progress Report
A continuation of monitoring of the susceptibilities of bollworm populations to a diamide insecticide was examined. Susceptibilities are like in previous years, and no visible shifts in insecticide resistance were detected. We continue to monitor this insect to the diamide insecticide class to provide early detection of potential resistance issues to this commonly used insecticide. Population dynamics have been monitored weekly from May to September since 2008 using sex pheromone traps, and county averages are reported weekly to assist farmers in managing their crops for these pests. Weekly and annual fluctuations occur, but no long-term trends are obvious in the data. These moths were also used to monitor for resistance to diamide insecticides. No resistance was detected from any populations, neither from within Mississippi nor from populations assayed collected by collaborators from other southern states. The toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides and the synergistic interactions of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids were examined on sensitive and resistant strains of tarnished plant bugs using biochemical and molecular approaches. The full-length sodium channel cDNA clones were isolated, and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes, including a1, a2, ß1, and ß2 of the tarnished plant and southern green stink bug were amplified. The toxicity and synergistic effects of PBO (piperonyl butoxide), TPP (triphenyl phosphate), or DEM (diethyl maleate) with the insecticide flonicamid examined with tarnished plant bugs. Applying oxygenated and ozonated water to improve plant nutrition, root health, crop production and yield, and how it affects the pest biology and above and below ground tri-trophic interactions of major pests of cotton and soybean through greenhouse and field studies are being performed. The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus and endophytes used in experiments to investigate their impact on plant nutrition, host plant resistance, and pest management were selected and purchased. An electrical penetration graph (EPG) recording set up was purchased and is being set up to study the feeding behavior of hemipteran pests on the row crops containing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus and or endophytes. Diseased cotton bolls from artificial infestations of tarnished plant bugs were collected, and candidate bacterial pathogens isolated and purified to assess the vector competency of the tarnished plant bug and other boll feeders. Greenhouse and companion field studies are currently investigating the transmission potential of this suite of cotton boll pathogens from key insect vectors such as the Southern green stinkbug, redbanded stink bug, and the tarnished plant bug. In a follow up study, we investigate the nature of bacterial persistence in the tarnished plant bug to determine if the bacteria are circulative, non-persistent, and the potential for transovarial infection. These data will aid in insect disease risk assessment and control measures when tarnished plant bugs and diseases are present. Greenhouse and companion field experiments are currently documenting the impact of entomopathogenic nematodes infected tarnished plant bug nymphs on select cotton generalist predators common to the Mid-south region. Tested the efficacy of different entomopathogenic nematode species towards tarnished plant bugs in adult and nymphal stages, and different stink bug species that are a significant problem in cotton and soybean. Results showed that some strains effectively kill tarnished plant bug adults and nymphs in 48-72 hours. Kudzu bug nymphs and adults were exposed to two native Beauveria bassiana isolates at four concentrations. The greatest reduction in survival, mortality and sporulation was observed primarily on or after 10-d post-exposure to B. bassiana isolates. Survival of early instars (2nd, 3rd) were not affected by either strain or concentration at 3-d and 5-d post-exposure. Survival of later instars (5th) and adults was significantly reduced when exposed to the KUDSC strain at all concentrations. A method for rearing the southern green stinkbug using the lygus semi-solid artificial diet was developed and published. Early nymphs (1st and 2nd instar) were reared in Petri-dishes, placing 15 egg masses. Later instar nymphs (3rd to 5th) and adults were reared in cages, each holding about 500 nymphs or adults. Mating and oviposition occurred in oviposition cages, each holding 60-90 mixed sex adults of similar age. Adults emerged under these conditions 35.88 ± 2.13 d after oviposition and survived for an average of 43.09 ± 9.53 d. On average, adults laid 223.95 ± 69.88 eggs in their lifetime, for a total production of 8,168 ± 2,467 eggs/rearing cage. Using an artificial diet for rearing N. viridula reduced cost and increased reliability and simplicity of bug production, which should facilitate mass rearing of its biological control agents. Codification and identification of the microbial agents from field samples isolated from TPB collected in Mississippi Delta during 2016-2018 were completed. New microbial control agents isolated from immature and adults of the southern green stink bug, red banded stink bugs, and green stink bugs collected in 2020 have been codified and identified. Spore powder of the new microbial agents have been produced and will be used in bioassays to evaluate the pathogenicity on pestiferous insects of southern crops and potential impact on beneficial insect populations. Microbial insecticides are an important component of many insect pest management programs. ARS researchers in Stoneville, Mississippi, quantified the impact of the native strain NI8 on feral populations of tarnished plant bugs and its possible impact on beneficial arthropods. Continuation of laboratory and field experiments has determined mortalities and estimate lethal doses of potential microbial insecticides including the native Delta strain NI8 and the commercial strain GHA on feral tarnished plant bug populations and southern green stink bug on cotton and soybean were completed. These studies will impact the development of non-chemical control methods used in cotton integrated pest management systems across the southern United States. Insecticides are the primary tool used to control insects in sweetpotato, but they are not a very effective or efficient because the insects live underground, and it is difficult to get insecticide to the insect, and even more difficult to determine when insecticidal control is necessary. A potentially superior tool for insect management is planting varieties that resist insects in some way. Eight commercial varieties and six advanced lines were screened one or more during this project for insect resistance. While eight of the lines/varieties were more resistant to insects than Beauregard (current commercial standard), only Bayou Belle provided improved insect resistance without any loss of yield. Preliminary work tried identifying a mechanism that provided insect resistance, but more work in this area is needed. Soil core samples are taken from experimental field plots at Alcorn State University Ext/Research Demonstration Farm, Mound Bayou, Mississippi, and private farmers' fields in the Mississippi Delta to estimate presence of wireworms. To collect the adult wireworms, purple multiple funnel traps, purple panel funnel traps and the NELT LED Light pitfall traps baited with Limoniic Acid as click beetle attractant will be installed in a sweetpotato field of multiple varieties planted on the experiment farm and a private field with planted with mostly with a single sweetpotato variety. The number of adult wireworms (Conoderus vespertinus and C. falli) collected in the NELT pitfall traps, Multiple funnel traps, and panel funnel traps, and larvae in soil core samples are being compared to develop a proportional interrelationship.

1. Chromosome scale assembly of the soybean looper. The soybean looper is a moth in Noctuidae family whose larvae are a pest of legume crops, especially soybean. A chromosome-scale assembly of the soybean looper genome was assembledby ARS researchers in Stoneville, Mississippi, using long reads produced by Pacific Biosystems sequencing and the scaffolding with short reads generated from a HiC proximity ligation library. The assembled size of the genome was 350.39Mbp with an N50 of 12.368 Mbp, N90 of 7.313 Mbp, L50 of 13, and L90 of 26. Essentially, 90% of the soybean looper genome was contained in 26 chromosome-size scaffolds. The genome assembly had 441 scaffolds larger than 1 Kbp; the largest scaffold was 22.482 Mbp. The construction of this assembly is an important step in developing genetic markers to examine the movement of these migratory insect pests, the flow of genes associated with insecticide resistance, and the population of structure.

2. Pheromone-based trapping of tarnished plant bug. The tarnished plant bug is a major pest of cotton in the Southern U.S. Reliable pheromone-based traps are not currently available for use in monitoring populations of this insect pest. Several experiments were conducted by ARS researchers in Stoneville, Mississippi, with visual and olfactory cues to determine their effectiveness in attracting tarnished plant bugs. It was found that Byers blend (4:10:7 ratio of hexyl butyrate, (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate, and (E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal) coupled with red sticky cards significantly increased the capture of tarnished plant bugs in the field. This device or a future iteration based on these findings may contribute to sustainable and environmentally appropriate early season monitoring and management of tarnished plant bugs in the field.

Review Publications
Moro, M.S., Wu, X., Wei, W., Mendes, L.W., Allen, K.C., Pinheiro, J.B., Clough, S.J., Zucchi, M.I. 2021. Characterization and comparison of intestinal bacterial microbiomes of Euschistus heros and Piezodorus guildinii collected in Brazil and the United States. Frontiers in Microbiology. 12:769965.
Portilla, M., Reddy, G.V. 2021. Development of a method for rearing Nezara viridula (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) on a semi-solid artificial diet. Journal of Insect Science. 21(5):1-8.
Chen, J., Du, Y. 2021. The odorant binding protein, SiOBP5, mediates alarm pheromone olfactory recognition in the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Biomolecules EISSN 2218-273X.
Ghaemmaghami, E., Fathipour, Y., Bagheri, A., Talebi, A., Reddy, G.V. 2022. Changes in functional and numerical responses of the parasitoid wasp trichogramma brassicae (hymenoptera:trichogrammatidae) over 45 generations of rearing on ephestia kuehniella. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 115:1-10.
Ghaemmaghami, E., Fathipour, Y., Bagheri, A., Talebi, A., Reddy, G.V. 2021. Monitoring of mutual interference behavior of Trichogramma brassicae (Hymenoptera: trichogrammatidae) over 45 generations of rearing on Angoumois grain moth. Neotropical Entomology. 51:54-64.
George, J., Glover, J.P., Gore, J., Crow, W., Reddy, G.V. 2021. Biology, ecology, and pest management of the tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois) in southern row crops. Insects. 12(807):1-30.
Portilla, M., Streett, D. 2022. Biological responses of Hpothenemus hampei (Coleoptera: curculionidae) on the Cenibroca artificial diet at different moisture content levels and relative humidities. Florida Entomologist. 105(2):137-144.
Maniania, N.K., Portilla, M., Amnulla, F.M., Mfuti, D.K., Darie, A., Dhiman, G., Rao, I.M. 2022. Infectivity of Entomopathogenic fungal isolates against tarnished plant bug. Journal of Insect Science. 22:1-7.
Blanco, C., Conover, K., Hernandez, G., Valentini, G., Portilla, M., Abel, C.A., Williams, W.P., Nava-Camberos, U., Huschison, W., Dively, G. 2022. Grain yield is not impacted by early defoliation of maize: implications for Fall armyworm action thresholds. Southwestern Entomologist. 47(2):335-344.
Towels, T., Buntin, G., Catchot, A., Gore, J., Cook, D., Caprio, M., Daves, C. 2021. Quantifying the contribution of seed blended refugia in field corn to Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera : Noctuidae) populations. Journal of Economic Entomology. 114:1771–1778.
Catchot, B.D., Anderson, C., Gore, J., Jackson, R., Rakshit, K., Musser, F., Krishnan, N. 2020. Novaluron prevents oogenesis and oviposition by inducing ultrastructural changes in ovarian tissue of young adult Lygus lineolaris. Pest Management Science. 76:4057-4063.
Dorman, S.J., Gross, A.D., Musser, F.R., Catchot, B.D., Smith, R.H., Reisig, D.D., Reay-Jones, F.P., Roberts, P.M., Taylor, S.V. 2020. Resistance monitoring to four insecticides and mechanisms of resistance in Lygus lineolaris Palisot de Beauvois (Hemiptera: miridae) populations of southeastern USA cotton. Pest Management Science. 76(12):3935-3944.
Graham, S.H., Catchot, A.L., Gore, J., Cook, D.R., Dodds, D. 2021. Tarnished plant bug (Heteroptera: miridae) behavioral responses to chemical insecticides. Insects. 12(12):1072.
Crow, W.D., Catchot, A.L., Dodds, D., Gore, J., Cook, D.R., Allen, T.W. 2021. Evaluation of cotton cultivar and at-plant nematicide application on seasonal populations of reniform nematode. Agronomy. 11(11):2166.
Moor, J., Gore, J., Catchot, A.L., Cook, D.R., Crow, W.D., Dodds, D., Sarver, J., Towles, T., Zurweller, B. 2020. Effect of imidacloprid and acephate for tobacco thrips (Thysonaptera:Thripidae) management on flumioxazin injured peanut. Peanut Science. 48:6-14.
Whalen, A., Catchot, A.L., Gore, J., Stewart, S.D., Lorenz, G.M., Cook, D.R., Musser, F.R., Harris, J.W., Krishnan, N. 2021. Temporal profile of neonicotinoid concentrations in cotton, corn, and soybean resulting from insecticidal seed treatments. Agronomy. 11(6):1200.
Thrash, B.C., Catchot, A.L., Gore, J., Cook, D.R., Musser, F.R., Irby, T., Krutz, J. 2021. Effects of soybean plant population on yield loss from defoliation. Journal of Economic Entomology. 114(2):702-709.
Thrash, B.C., Catchot, A.L., Gore, J., Cook, D.R., Musser, F.R., Irby, T., Krutz, J., Lorenz, G.M. 2021. Effects of soybean planting date on yield loss from defoliation. Journal of Economic Entomology. 114(2):993-997.
Kelly, F., Gore, J., Cook, D., Catchot, A., Golden, B., Krutz, L., Crow, W., Towles, T. 2021. Influence of soil moisture zones on rice water weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) populations in furrow irrigated rice. Environmental Entomology. 50(3):658-662.
Bateman, N.R., Catchot, A.L., Gore, J., Cook, D.R., Musser, F.R., Irby, T. 2020. Effects of planting date for soybean growth, development, and yield in the Southern USA. Agronomy. 10(4):596.
Crow, W.D., Catchot, A.L., Gore, J., Dodds, D.M., Cook, D.R., Allen, T.W. 2020. Evaluation of tillage, at-planting treatment, and nematicide on tobacco thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and reniform nematode (Tylenchida:Hoplolamidae) management in cotton. Agronomy. 1110(2):300.
Kelly, F., Gore, J., Cook, D., Catchot, A., Golden, B., Krutz, L., Crow, W., Towles, T., Bond, J. 2020. Evaluation of flood removal in combination with insecticide seed treatment for rice water weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) larval management in rice. Journal of Economic Entomology. 113,5, 2235-2240.
Corbin, J., Towles, T., Crow, W.D., Catchot, A.L., Cook, D.R., Dodds, D., Gore, J. 2020. Evaluation of current tarnished plant bug (Hemiptera: Miridae) thresholds in transgenic mon 88702 cotton expressing the Bt Cry51Aa2.834_16 trait. Journal of Economic Entomology. 113(4):1816-1822.
Crow, W., Catchot, A., Gore, J., Dodds, D., Cook, D., Allen, T. 2020. Evaluation of seed treatment, herbicide, and nematicide on tobacco thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripdae) and reniform nematode (Tylenchida: Hoplolaimidae) control. Journal of Cotton Science. 24:10-16.
Hardman, W.C., Catchot, A.L., Gore, J., Henry, W., Cook, D.R. 2021. The impact of brown stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) damage during the seedling stage on field corn growth and yield. Journal of Economic Entomology. 114(4):1607-1612.
Krutz, L., Spencer, G., Bond, J., Gore, J., Reddy, K., Walker, T., Boykin, D. 2021. Implications of experimental design on predicting economic optimum nitrogen rates in rice.. Agronomy. 11:2296.
Catchot, B., Musser, F., Gore, J., Krishnan, N., Cook, D., Stewart, S., Lorenz, G., Brown, S., Seiter, N., Catchot, A. 2021. Sublethal impacts of novaluron on tarnished plant bug, Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois), adults. Journal of Economic Entomology. 114:739-746.
Mccoy, J., Golden, B., Bond, J., Dodds, D., Bararpour, T., Gore, J. 2020. Rice cultivar response to sublethal concentrations of glyphosate and paraquat late in the season. Weed Technology. 35:251-257.
Villegas, J., Wilson, B., Way, M., Gore, J., Sout, M. 2021. Tolerance of rice water weevil, lissorhoptrus oryzophilus kuschel (Coleoptera: Culrulionidae), infestations among hybrid and inbred rice cultivars in the Southern US. Crop Protection. 139:105368.
Coelho, M., Cook, D., Catchot, A., Gore, J., Lourenção, A., Baldin, E. 2020. Simulated corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, injury in an indeterminate soybean cultivar at various growth stages under non-irrigated conditions in the southern United States. Agronomy. 10(10):1450.
Catchot, B., Anderson, C., Gore, J., Jackson, R., Rakshit, K., Musser, F., Krishnan, N. 2020. Novaluron prevents oogenesis and oviposition by inducing ultrastructural changes in ovarian tissue of young adult Lygus lineolaris. Pest Management Science. 76:4057-4063.
Seale, J., Bararpour, T., Bond, J., Gore, J., Golden, B. 2020. Evaluation of preemergence and postemergence herbicide programs on weed control and weed seed suppression in mississippi peanut (arachis hypogea). Agronomy. 10(8):1058.
Cato, A., Lorenz, G., Bateman, N., Hardke, J., Black, J., Thrash, B., Johnson, D., Gore, J., Studebaker, G., Fan, S. 2019. Susceptibility of rice to Oebalus pugnax (F.) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) feeding at different levels of grain maturity and impacts on insecticide termination. Journal of Economic Entomology. 113(1):249-254.
Crow, W., Gore, J., Catchot, A., Cook, D., Stewart, S., Seiter, N., Studebaker, G., Lorenz, G., Kerns, D., Brown, S. 2020. Termination of insecticide applications for tarnished plant bug (hemiptera: miridae) management in cotton. Journal of Cotton Science. 24:17-21.