|Lopez, Juan De Dios|
Submitted to: The Open Entomology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2012
Publication Date: 5/16/2012
Citation: Prom, L.K., Jin, Z., Ree, W., Lopez, J., Perumal, R. 2012. Frequency and diversity of fungal genera contaminating the external body parts of leaffooted bug, Leptoglossus phyllopus (Heteroptera: Coreidae). The Open Entomology Journal. 6:13-16. Interpretive Summary: Leaffooted bugs cause damage to many cultivated crops not only by their feeding actions but also their ability to carry fungal spores from plant to plant and between different fields and crops. To determine the types of fungal spores that they carry on their body parts, a large number of leaffooted bugs were collected from different plants and analyzed in the laboratory. The results showed that leaffooted bugs that frequent different weeds and crops, including sorghum and pecan, have the ability to carry the reproductive components (called spores) of different fungal genera, including Alternaria spp., Bipolaris spp., Claviceps spp., Colletotrichum spp., Curvularia spp., Fusarium spp., and Fusicladium effusum on their external body parts and can spread these spores from plant to plant and from field to field. Therefore, reducing the impact of these insects in production fields will minimize or avoid the spread of plant diseases within the field and to other areas.
Technical Abstract: Coreid bugs and in particular species in the Genus Leptoglossus are considered insects pests of economic importance and have been shown to vector plant pathogens specially fungi. Leaffooted bugs, Leptoglossus phyllopus (L.), were collected from pecan, Carya illinoinensis (Wangenheim) K. Koch, Gaura parviflora Dougl., pomegranate, Punica granatum L., and Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, fields in Brazos and Burleson Counties, Texas in 2008 and 2009. A number of genera of fungi, including Alternaria spp., Bipolaris spp., Claviceps spp., Colletotrichum spp., Curvularia spp., Fusarium spp., Fusicladium effusum, Aspergillus spp., Rhizopus spp., smut and several unidentified spores were found adhering to the external body parts of these insects. Several of these fungal genera contain species that are pathogenic to sorghum and pecan on which leaffooted bugs are considered pests. In both years, Alternaria spp. was the most frequently recovered fungal species. In collection areas such as pecan orchards or from G. parviflora growing close to pecan trees, higher amounts of Fusicladium effusum, causal agent of pecan scab, a very economically important disease, were found contaminating the external body parts of these bugs. Thus, these mobile insects have the potential to passively transmit fungal diseases from plant-to-plant, between fields or orchards and different crops, plant hosts, and habitats.