Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2017
Publication Date: 4/18/2017
Citation: Backus, E.A. 2017. Overview of history, principles, and applications of electropenetrography (EPG) for feeding studies. Presented at the 2017 International Heteroptera Symposium, April 18-20, 2017, Seaside, CA.
Technical Abstract: Studying real-time feeding, host injury, and/or transmission of plant pathogens by heteropterans is challenging. Piercing-sucking mouthparts are probed into opaque plant tissues, precluding direct observation. Over fifty years ago, this challenge was overcome for tiny hemipterans like aphids, by the development of electropenetrography (EPG). New technological advancements in EPG are now allowing this most-rigorous means of studying hemipteran feeding to be applied to heteropterans for the first time. EPG can be applied in two ways for development of novel pest or disease management tactics for bugs. First, in cases where fundamental mechanisms of feeding injury or transmission of a pathogen are unknown, EPG is instrumental in identifying such mechanisms. Second, once mechanisms of injury or transmission are understood, EPG can be used to demonstrate effects of insecticides, antifeedants, resistant plants, or other management tactics on specific feeding behaviors responsible for injury or transmission. The purpose of this presentation is to present background information on EPG science and technology, to explain: 1) electronic principles and history underlying EPG, especially development of the new AC-DC monitor that has been critical for expanding EPG to large insects like heteropterans and 2) principles underlying biological meanings of waveforms. Several other presentations will provide detailed results of EPG studies of lygus bugs, bagrada bugs, and other heteropteran pests, including studies on the mechanism of host injury and quantitative comparisons of feeding on resistant and susceptible host plants. The new tool of heteropteran EPG will have impact in many areas of both basic and applied heteropteran science and integrated pest management.