Quantitative Differences in Feeding Behavior of Lygus lineolaris (Hemiptera: Miridae) on Transgenic and Nontransgenic Cotton.J Econ Entomol. 2019 08 03; 112(4):1920-1925.JE
Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvois) is one of the most important pests on cotton in the United States. Previous research showed that transgenic cotton plants expressing the Bacillus thurigiensis (Bt) crystalline protein Cry51Aa2.834_16 (designated MON 88702) have insecticidal effects on nymphal L. lineolaris. The present study is the first to examine effects of a Bt-expressing cotton on feeding by a heteropteran like L. lineolaris. We compared stylet probing behaviors of third-instar nymphs on pin-head squares (i.e., buds <3 mm wide) of MON 88702 cotton versus nontransgenic (control) DP393 plants using AC-DC electropenetrography. Waveforms were quantified based on appearances previously characterized and correlated with adult L. lineolaris feeding behaviors; nymphal and adult waveforms had the same appearance. Generalized third-instar feeding included maceration of tissues during cell rupturing (waveform CR), tasting/testing during a waveform called transition (T), and ingestion (I); all were similar between MON 88702 and DP393 plants. However, the number of events and duration of each waveform were different between treatments. Relative to nymphs on DP393, those on MON 88702 spent more time overall in stylet probing, due to increased number of maceration events per probe and longer durations of tasting/testing, per waveform event, per probe, and per insect; yet, ingestion events were shorter and more frequent. These findings support that MON 88702 cotton plants were less palatable and/or preorally digestible to L. lineolaris nymphs than DP393, suggesting antixenosis for MON 88702. Transgenic cotton antixenosis could positively affect cotton pest management by reducing feeding of L. lineolaris nymphs and protecting crop yield.