Soybean Foliage Consumption Reduces Adult Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera)(Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Survival and Stimulates Flight

Joseph L. Spencer, Timothy R. Mabry, Eli Levine, Scott A. Isard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, biology is tied to the continuous availability of its host (corn, Zea mays L.). Annual rotation of corn with a nonhost, like soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) was a reliable tactic to manage western corn rootworm. Behavioral resistance to annual crop rotation (rotation resistance) allowed some eastern U.S. Corn Belt populations to circumvent rotation by laying eggs in soybean and in cornfields. When active in soybean, rotation-resistant adults commonly consume foliage, in spite of detrimental effects on beetle survival. Rotation-resistant beetle activity in soybean is enabled by the expression of certain proteinases and an adapted gut microbiota that provide limited protection from soybean antiherbivore defenses. We investigated the effects of corn and soybean herbivory on rotation-resistant female survival and initiation of flight using mortality assays and wind tunnel flight tests. Among field-collected females tested with mortality assays, beetles from collection sites in a cornfield survived longer than those from collection sites in a soybean field. However, reduced survival due to soybean herbivory could be restored by consuming corn tissues. Field-collected beetles that fed on a soybean tissue laboratory diet or only water were more likely to fly in a wind tunnel than corn-feeding beetles. Regardless of collection site and laboratory diet, 90.5% of beetles that flew oriented their flights upwind. Diet-related changes in the probability of flight provide a proximate mechanism for interfield movement that facilitates restorative feeding and the survival of females previously engaged in soybean herbivory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2390-2399
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Volume114
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • behavioral resistance
  • crop rotation
  • Glycine max
  • wind tunnel
  • Zea mays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

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