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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Crop Production and Pest Control Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379131

Research Project: Molecular Characterization of Host-Insect Interactions in Cereal Crops

Location: Crop Production and Pest Control Research

Title: Wheat yield in a tolerant winter wheat line infested by Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor)

item ROE, KIRSTEN - Purdue University
item Schemerhorn, Brandi

Submitted to: Advances in Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2021
Publication Date: 4/8/2021
Citation: Roe, K.E., Schemerhorn, B.J. 2021. Wheat yield in a tolerant winter wheat line infested by Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor). Advances in Entomology. 9(2):70-84.

Interpretive Summary: Wheat is the most consumed cereal crop worldwide, and Hessian fly is one of the major contributors to yield loss. Hessian fly continues to be a problem despite many cultural practices to prevent infestation and the deployment of resistance genes. This research looks at a phenomenon known as tolerance in wheat, and examines its effect on disease control and crop yield. The data show that in the case of the tolerant wheat line tested, there appears to be no negative effects on wheat yield, indicating that tolerance could be a useful strategy to control the devastating effects and total destruction of wheat fields across the world. This information will be useful wheat breeders and producers.

Technical Abstract: The Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor, is a harmful pest of wheat (Triticum aestivum). Pioneer variety 25R78 is putatively tolerant, meaning that the plant can survive successful Hessian fly infestation with reduced growth effects. To understand if Hessian fly-tolerance in wheat results in reduced yield effects and to analyze the economic feasibility of tolerant wheat as a Hessian fly control method, this study focused on analyzing the effect of infestation on tolerant wheat yield. This study analyzed tolerant Pioneer variety 25R78, resistant Pioneer brand variety 25R32, and susceptible Pioneer brand variety 25R47 through harvest. Treated plants were infested using a plastic cover and allowing 1–2 female flies to lay eggs for two hours. We measured head, fertile head number and tiller number. Seeds were analyzed by measuring total seed number and weight, as well as average seed number and weight. Tolerant and resistant plants showed no significant effects on yield in comparison to susceptible wheat. The infested tolerant plants were comparable in yield to infested resistant plants. Therefore, we propose that tolerance incorporated into wheat varieties will lower selection pressure on Hessian fly populations and increase the durability of these wheat lines.