Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Prom, L.K., Perumal, R. 2008. Leaf-footed bug, Leptoglossus phyllopus (Hemiptera: Coreidae), as a potential vector of sorghum fungal pathogens. Southwestern Entomologist. 33(2):161-164.
Interpretive Summary: Sorghum diseases such as ergot and grain mold can result in major losses to farmers because they reduce both grain yield and quality. One of the ways that these diseases are carried from diseased to healthy plants is by mobile insects. In this study, we showed that adult leaf-footed bugs can carry spores of some of the most important sorghum pathogens on their exterior body parts. Therefore, reducing the impact of these insects in sorghum production fields will minimize or avoid the spread of diseases within the field and to other areas.
Technical Abstract: Leaf-footed bugs from a sorghum ergot-infected field located at the USDA-ARS, Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, College Station, TX, were collected on a weekly basis to determine whether the insects can be passive vectors of sorghum fungal pathogens. Spores from several pathogens of sorghum, including Alternaria spp., Bipolaris spp., Claviceps africana, Colletotrichum spp., Curvularia spp., Fusarium spp., Trichothecium spp., Aspergillus spp., Rhizopus spp., and smut were found on the external body parts of these insects. C. africana spores were the most recovered propagules (4.4x10^5 spores/ml) followed by some grain-molding fungi Colletotrichum spp., Fusaruim spp., Alternaria spp., Bipolaris spp., and Curvularia spp., thus confirming that leaf-footed bugs have the potential to act as a passive vector for a number of important sorghum diseases.