Submitted to: Journal of Applied Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2008
Publication Date: 5/3/2009
Citation: Bohssini, M., Chen, M., Lhaloui, S., Zharmukamedoua, G., Rihawi, F. 2009. Virulence of Hessian Fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in the Fertile Crescent. Journal of Applied Entomology. 133(5):381-385
Interpretive Summary: The Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor) is one of the most destructive insects of wheat world-wide. The insect is believed to originate from the Fertile Crescent in West Asia, and brought to America during the American Revolution in the 1770s. The Hessian fly is most effectively controlled by deploying resistant wheat cultivars; however, virulent fly populations arise shortly after specific resistant cultivars are deployed. To share genetic resources, collaborative research has been launched between scientists at ICARDA and at USDA-ARS. This report shows distinct virulence differences between Hessian fly at ICARDA and Hessian fly in America to most known resistance genes. The goal is to reveal the mechanism of the differential virulence among different fly populations and to identify common pathways that confer resistance independent of Hessian fly populations.
Technical Abstract: The Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say), is an important insect pest of wheat (Triticum spp.) in North Africa, North America, South Europe and North Kazakhstan. Similarly to wheat this pest is believed to originate from West Asia in the Fertile Crescent. To determine the virulence of the Hessian fly population in West Asia, a set of cultivars carrying different resistance genes, in addition to other effective sources with unknown genes, were evaluated in Syria in the field and in an insect rearing room at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) during the 2005/2006 cropping season. Only two resistance genes (H25 and H26) were effective against the Syrian Hessian fly population, making it the most virulent worldwide. This high virulence supports the hypothesis that Hessian fly coevolved with wheat in the Fertile Crescent of West Asia. The ICARDA screening program is using this Hessian fly population to identify new resistance genes to this pest.