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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Plant Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343401

Research Project: Genetics and Genomics of Complex Traits in Grain Crops

Location: Plant Genetics Research

Title: Diet improvement for western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) larvae

Author
item Huynh, Man - University Of Missouri
item Meihls, Lisa
item Hibbard, Bruce
item Lapointe, Stephen
item Niedz, Randall
item Ludwick, Dalton - University Of Missouri
item Coudron, Thomas

Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2017
Publication Date: 11/17/2017
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5863774
Citation: Huynh, M.P., Meihls, L.N., Hibbard, B.E., Lapointe, S.L., Niedz, R.P., Ludwick, D.C., Coudron, T.A. 2017. Diet improvement for western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) larvae. PLoS One. 12(11):e0187997. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187997.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187997

Interpretive Summary: The western corn rootworm is the most serious insect pest of corn in the United States and parts of Europe. The current practice of using proprietary diet formulations in western corn rootworm toxicity assays to evaluate resistance management efforts, make it impossible to compare data between toxins from differing companies. A standardized publicly available diet compatible with all toxins is needed. Here we report a new diet formulation that supports improved weight gain, larval development and survival compared with the only public diet for western corn rootworm that is currently available in the refereed literature. The formulation was created by using new statistical methods that allow the variation of multiple ingredients rather than one at a time as has been done in the past. Compared with the public diet, weight gain increased two-fold. In addition, survival and molting rates were approximately 99% for the first 11 days of the assay for larvae reared on our improved formulation. This new formulation provides a standardized growth medium for western corn rootworm larvae that will facilitate comparisons of research results from various working groups and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Technical Abstract: The western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, is the most serious insect pest of corn (Zea mays L.) in the United States and parts of Europe, and arguably the world’s most expensive pest to control. Several diet formulations are currently used by industry and researchers to evaluate WCR larvae for diet-toxicity bioassays. However, a publicly available diet that produces normative insects that are physiologically similar to WCR larvae reared on corn roots will accelerate development of management technologies. We report a new diet formulation that supports improved weight gain, larval development and survival compared with the only public diet for WCR that is currently available in the refereed literature. The formulation was created by using response surface methods combined with n-dimensional mixture designs to identify and improve the formulation of key ingredients. Compared with the public diet, weight gain increased two-fold. In addition, survival and molting rates were approximately 99% at 11 day for larvae reared on our improved formulation. This new formulation provides a standardized growth medium for WCR larvae that will facilitate comparison of research results from various working groups and compliance with regulatory requirements.