|Armstrong, John - Scott|
|Knoll, Joseph - Joe|
|Anderson, William - Bill|
Submitted to: Trends in Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/26/2019
Publication Date: 6/1/2019
Citation: Armstrong, J.S., Harris-Shultz, K.R., Ni, X., Wang, H., Knoll, J.E., Anderson, W.F. 2019. Utilizing biodemographic indices to identify perennial bioenergy grasses as sugarcane aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) host plants. Trends in Entomology. 15:1-14.
Interpretive Summary: We evaluated the host suitability of Johnsongrass, a known host of the sugarcane aphid, and compared it to energycane sources such as giant miscanthus, napiergrass cv "Merkeron", giant reed, switchgrass cv GA-001, and Jeswiet grass in terms of aphid survival, reproduction from one generation to the next. Non-viable hosts that will never support sugarcane aphids include napiergrass cv Merkeron, giant reed, and switchgrass cv GA-001. The Jeswiet grass supported sugarcane aphid for one generation, but not a second and is identified as a poor host. Our findings indicate that widespread planting of these bioenergy grasses like napiergrass, giant reed, and switchgrass may prevent the further increase of the sugarcane aphid populations. Whereas the planting of the energycane and giant miscanthus may exacerbate sugarcane aphid damage on sorghum.
Technical Abstract: The sugarcane aphid [Melanaphis sacchari (Zehntner) (Hemiptera: Aphididae)] has been rapidly spreading in the United States and can cause devastating economic losses on sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] when an effective management program is not utilized. Our objective was to determine if some of the most commonly used candidate bioenergy grasses can be alternative hosts. Host suitability was evaluated using aphid mortality and reproduction on each warm-season grass. An excised leaf bioassay was conducted for two continuous generations using eight bioenergy grasses and Johnsongrass [Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.] as the control. Hosts that sustained multiple generations of the sugarcane aphid included Johnsongrass, energycane (Saccharum spp.), and giant miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus or Miscanthus sinensis x M. sacchariflorus Greef & Deuter ex Hodkinson & Renvoize). Poor hosts included the napiergrass [Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone] cultivar Merkeron, giant reed (Arundo donax L.), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) cultivar GA-001. Erianthus arundinaceus (Retz.) Jeswiet, was a good host for first generation sugarcane aphids but a poor host for second generation aphids. Thus, the findings from the current study suggests that, if widespread planting of these bioenergy grasses were to occur, the plantings of napiergrass, giant reed, and switchgrass may prevent the further increase of the aphid population. Whereas the planting of the energycane and giant miscanthus may exacerbate sugarcane aphid damage on sorghum.