Susceptibility of Brassicaceous Plants to Feeding by Flea Beetles, Phyllotreta spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Soroka, J.J. and Grenkow, L.F. (2013). "Susceptibility of Brassicaceous Plants to Feeding by Flea Beetles, Phyllotreta spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)", Journal of Economic Entomology, 106(6), pp. 2557-2567. doi : 10.1603/EC13102  Access to full text

Abstract

Crucifer-feeding flea beetles, Phyllotreta spp., are chronic insect pests in Canadian prairie canola production. Multiple laboratory and field feeding bioassays were conducted to determine the susceptibility of a wide range of crucifer species, cultivars, and accessions to feeding by flea beetles with the goal of discovering sources of resistant germplasm. In 62 bioassays of 218 entries, no consistent decreased feeding by flea beetles was seen on any entries of Brassica carinata A. Braun, Brassica juncea (L.) Czern., Brassica napus L., or Brassica rapa L. There was reduced feeding on condiment mustard Sinapis alba L. lines but not on canola-quality lines with reduced amounts of glucosinolates, which were fed on at levels equal to B. napus. Analyses of glucosinolate content found decreased quantities of hydroxybenzyl and butyl glucosinolates in preferred canola-quality S. alba lines and increased levels of hydroxybutenyl glucosinolates compared with levels in condiment S. alba lines. Eruca sativa Mill. was an excellent flea beetle host; Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz lines experienced little feeding. Lines of Crambe abyssinica Hochst. ex R. E. Fries and Crambe hispanica L. had reduced feeding levels compared with Brassica entries, but Crambe glabrata DC did not. The results indicate possible sources of resistance to Phyllotreta flea beetles, while highlighting the complicated roles that glucosinolates may play in Phyllotreta host preference.

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