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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336973

Title: Mating interference of glassy-winged sharpshooters, Homalodisca vitripennis

item Gordon, Shira
item SANDOVAL, NESTOR - Pacific University
item MAZZONI, VALERIO - Fondazione Edmund Mach
item Krugner, Rodrigo

Submitted to: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/10/2017
Publication Date: 7/20/2017
Citation: Gordon, S.D., Sandoval, N., Mazzoni, V., Krugner, R. 2017. Mating interference of glassy-winged sharpshooters, Homalodisca vitripennis. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. doi: 10.1111.eea.12594.

Interpretive Summary: The glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) is a major pest of grapevines in California, spreading the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, which causes Pierce’s disease. While broadcast application of insecticides works to an extent, GWSS movement and ability as a generalist feeder leave the grape industry in need of finding additional means of control. By studying GWSS communication, the groundwork is being set to develop a pesticide-free method of control. GWSS communication involves sending and receiving vibrational signals through the plant host. This study used artificial playback of both white noise and a natural female call to test whether mating could be disrupted. Results determined that both signals significantly interrupted mating compared to silent control. Furthermore, when tested individually, females responded to artificial female calls with a call of their own. Finally, when white noise was terminated there was an increase in female calling. Altogether, these results identified signals that disrupt mating communication in laboratory conditions. As a stepping stone, these data support development of methods to transmit such signals for control of GWSS in vineyard wide applications.

Technical Abstract: Animal signaling is a complex behavior that is influenced by abiotic and biotic factors of the environment. Glassy-winged sharpshooters (GWSS), Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), primarily use vibrational signaling for courtship. Because GWSS is a major pest, transmitting the plant pathogenic bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, interruption of communication is a possible avenue for control. Playback of white noise, pre-recorded female signals, or artificial female noise (continuous overlapping female signals) significantly reduced mating of GWSS when compared to silent control mating trials. Furthermore, to determine how a female reacts to playback, individual signaling activity was recorded in the presence of stimuli. In response to playback of female signals, females signaled (duet-like) more often than females tested in the absence of playback. After the first playback, almost two-thirds of females signaled a response within 3s. Additionally, one-third of the females signaled within 1s after cessation of white noise, and significantly more in the time periods following noise termination. Results highlight how GWSS responds to differing competitive disturbances in the environment and lays important ground work that possibly could be used to develop pesticide-free control methods.