The ability of the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) to penetrate mesh crop covers used to protect potato crops against tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli)
In Central and North America, Australia and New Zealand, potato (Solanum tuberosum) crops are attacked by Bactericera cockerelli, the tomato potato psyllid (TPP). 'Mesh crop covers' which are used in Europe and Israel to protect crops from insect pests, have been used experimentally in New Zealand for TPP control. While the covers have been effective for TPP management, the green peach aphid (GPA, Myzus persicae) has been found in large numbers under the mesh crop covers. This study investigated the ability of the GPA to penetrate different mesh hole sizes. Experiments using four sizes (0.15 × 0.15, 0.15 × 0.35, 0.3 × 0.3 and 0.6 × 0.6 mm) were carried out under laboratory conditions to investigate: (i) which mesh hole size provided the most effective barrier to GPA; (ii) which morph of adult aphids (apterous or alate) and/or their progeny could breach the mesh crop cover; (iii) would leaves touching the underside of the cover, as opposed to having a gap between leaf and the mesh, increase the number of aphids breaching the mesh; and (iv) could adults feed on leaves touching the cover by putting only their heads and/or stylets through it? No adult aphids, either alate or apterous, penetrated the mesh crop cover; only nymphs did this, the majority being the progeny of alate adults. Nymphs of the smaller alatae aphids penetrated the three coarsest mesh sizes; nymphs of the larger apterae penetrated the two coarsest sizes, but no nymphs penetrated the smallest mesh size. There was no statistical difference in the number of aphids breaching the mesh crop cover when the leaflets touched its underside compared to when there was a gap between leaf and mesh crop cover. Adults did not feed through the mesh crop cover, though they may have been able to sense the potato leaflet using visual and/or olfactory cues and produce nymphs as a result. As these covers are highly effective for managing TPP on field potatoes, modifications of this protocol are required to make it effective against aphids as well as TPP.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds); 070603 Horticultural Crop Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds); 0706 Horticultural Production; 06 Biological Sciences; 11 Medical and Health Sciences
© 2020 London et al.