Adjacent habitat influence on stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) densities and the associated damage at field corn and soybean edges.
ABSTRACT: The local dispersal of polyphagous, mobile insects within agricultural systems impacts pest management. In the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, stink bugs, especially the invasive Halyomorpha halys (Stål 1855), contribute to economic losses across a range of cropping systems. Here, we characterized the density of stink bugs along the field edges of field corn and soybean at different study sites. Specifically, we examined the influence of adjacent managed and natural habitats on the density of stink bugs in corn and soybean fields at different distances along transects from the field edge. We also quantified damage to corn grain, and to soybean pods and seeds, and measured yield in relation to the observed stink bug densities at different distances from field edge. Highest density of stink bugs was limited to the edge of both corn and soybean fields. Fields adjacent to wooded, crop and building habitats harbored higher densities of stink bugs than those adjacent to open habitats. Damage to corn kernels and to soybean pods and seeds increased with stink bug density in plots and was highest at the field edges. Stink bug density was also negatively associated with yield per plant in soybean. The spatial pattern of stink bugs in both corn and soybeans, with significant edge effects, suggests the use of pest management strategies for crop placement in the landscape, as well as spatially targeted pest suppression within fields.
Project description:Key impediments to increased corn yield and quality in the southeastern US coastal plain region are damage by ear-feeding insects and aflatoxin contamination caused by infection of Aspergillus flavus. Key ear-feeding insects are corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais, and brown stink bug, Euschistus servus. In 2006 and 2007, aflatoxin contamination and insect damage were sampled before harvest in three 0.4-hectare corn fields using a grid sampling method. The feeding damage by each of ear/kernel-feeding insects (i.e., corn earworm/fall armyworm damage on the silk/cob, and discoloration of corn kernels by stink bugs), and maize weevil population were assessed at each grid point with five ears. The spatial distribution pattern of aflatoxin contamination was also assessed using the corn samples collected at each sampling point. Aflatoxin level was correlated to the number of maize weevils and stink bug-discolored kernels, but not closely correlated to either husk coverage or corn earworm damage. Contour maps of the maize weevil populations, stink bug-damaged kernels, and aflatoxin levels exhibited an aggregated distribution pattern with a strong edge effect on all three parameters. The separation of silk- and cob-feeding insects from kernel-feeding insects, as well as chewing (i.e., the corn earworm and maize weevil) and piercing-sucking insects (i.e., the stink bugs) and their damage in relation to aflatoxin accumulation is economically important. Both theoretic and applied ramifications of this study were discussed by proposing a hypothesis on the underlying mechanisms of the aggregated distribution patterns and strong edge effect of insect damage and aflatoxin contamination, and by discussing possible management tactics for aflatoxin reduction by proper management of kernel-feeding insects. Future directions on basic and applied research related to aflatoxin contamination are also discussed.
Project description:Stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) are significant pests of cotton and soybeans in the southeastern United States with annual control costs exceeding $14 million in these crops. Three of the most prominent stink bug pests are the southern green (Nezara viridula), brown (Euschistus servus) and green (Chinavia hilaris) stink bugs. To determine trophic linkages between generalist arthropod predators and these pests, species-specific 16S molecular markers were designed and used to detect the presence of prey DNA in predator gut-contents. Over 2700 predators were collected over two growing seasons in cotton and soybean in southern Georgia in 2011 and 2012 and screened for stink bug DNA. Trophic linkages were analyzed relative to prey availability, crop type and field location. The frequency of stink bug DNA in predator guts was negligible on E. servus (0.23%) and C. hilaris (0.09%). Overall gut content detection of N. viridula was 3.3% and Geocoris sp. (Hemiptera: Geocoridae), Orius sp. (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) and Notoxus monodon (Coleoptera: Anthicidae) were the primary predators. This contrasts with previous studies that reported a much more diverse suite of predators consuming stink bugs with much higher frequency of gut-content positives. The discrepancy between studies highlights the need for replicating studies in space and time, especially if the goal is to implement effective and durable conservation biological control in integrated pest management.
Project description:Stink bugs are major pests in diverse crops around the world. Pest management strategies based on insect behavioral manipulation could help to develop biorational management strategies of stink bugs. Insect mating disruption using vibratory signals is an approach with high potential for pest management. The objective of this work was to investigate the effect of conspecific female rival signals on the mating behavior and copulation of three stink bug species to establish their potential for mating disruption. Previously recorded female rival signals were played back to bean plants where pairs of the Neotropical brown stink bug, <i>Euschistus heros</i>, and two green stink bugs, <i>Chinavia ubica</i> and <i>Chinavia impicticornis</i> were placed. Vibratory communication and mating behavior were recorded for each pair throughout the experimental time (20 min). Female rival signals show a disrupting effect on the reproductive behavior of three conspecific investigated stink bug species. This effect was more clearly expressed in <i>E. heros</i> and <i>C. ubica</i> than in <i>C. impicticornis</i>. The likelihood of copulating in pairs placed on control plants, without rival signals, increased 29.41 times in <i>E. heros</i>, 4.6 times in <i>C. ubica</i> and 1.71 times in <i>C. impicticornis</i>. However, in the last case, the effect of female rivalry signals in copulation was not significant. The effect of mating disruption of female rival signals of the three stink bug species may originate from the observed reduction in specific vibratory communication signals emitted, which influences the duet formation and further development of different phases of mating behavior. Our results suggest that female rival signals have potential for application in manipulation and disruption of mating behavior of stink bugs. Further work needs to focus on the effects of female rival signals used in long duration experiments and also their interactions with chemical communication of stink bugs.
Project description:Southern green stink bugs (Nezara viridula L.) are one of the major pests in many soybean producing areas. They cause a decrease in yield and affect seed quality by reducing viability and vigor. Alterations have been reported in the oxidative response and in the secondary metabolites in different plant species due to insect damage. However, there is little information available on soybean-stink bug interactions. In this study we compare the response of undamaged and damaged seeds by Nezara viridula in two soybean cultivars, IAC-100 (resistant) and Davis (susceptible), grown under greenhouse conditions. Pod hardness, H2O2 generation, enzyme activities in guaiacol peroxidase (GPOX), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) as well as lipoxygenase expression and isoflavonoid production were quantified. Our results showed a greater resistance of IAC-100 to pod penetration, a decrease in peroxide content after stink bug attack, and higher GPOX, CAT and SOD activities in seeds due to the genotype and to the genotype-interaction with the herbivory treatment. Induction of LOX expression in both cultivars and higher production of isoflavonoids in IAC-100 were also detected. It was then concluded that the herbivory stink bug induces pathways related to oxidative stress and to the secondary metabolites in developing seeds of soybean and that differences between cultivars hold promise for a plant breeding program.
Project description:California currently produces about a quarter of the world's pistachios. Pistachio nuts are susceptible to feeding by stink bugs and leaffooted bugs; therefore, the invasive presence of the highly polyphagous brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is a concern to California pistachio growers. We aimed to assess the potential of H. halys to cause yield loss and nut damage to pistachios, which had not yet been assessed in the field. Over two years, terminal branch ends with pistachio clusters were enclosed in organdy cages from spring to fall and exposed to either H. halys, the native stink bug Chinavia hilaris Say (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), or leaffooted bug Leptoglossus zonatus (Dallas) (Hemiptera: Coreidae), for 4-7-day feeding periods at different times of the season. We found that H. halys adults cause more epicarp lesions (external damage) when recorded at harvest time than the native species. They did not, however, cause more kernel necrosis (internal damage) than the two native species tested, which is a more relevant damage criterion for commercial production. There were no differences among insect species for any other recorded damage criteria. We conclude that H. halys could cause similar damage as the native species but note that H. halys population densities in California are still low and future damage levels will be dependent on this pest's population density.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Assessment and identification of spatial structures in the distribution and abundance of invasive species is important for unraveling the underlying ecological processes. The invasive agricultural insect pest Halyomorpha halys that causes severe economic losses in the United States is currently expanding both within United States and across Europe. We examined the drivers of H. halys invasion by characterizing the distribution and abundance patterns of H. halys and native stink bugs (Chinavia hilaris and Euschistus servus) across eight different spatial scales. We then quantified the interactive and individual influences of temperature, and measures of resource availability and distance from source populations, and their relevant spatial scales. We used Moran's Eigenvector Maps based on Gabriel graph framework to quantify spatial relationships among the soybean fields in mid-Atlantic Unites States surveyed for stink bugs.<h4>Findings</h4>Results from the multi-spatial scale, multivariate analyses showed that temperature and its interaction with resource availability and distance from source populations structures the patterns in H. halys at very broad spatial scale. H. halys abundance decreased with increasing average June temperature and distance from source population. H. halys were not recorded at fields with average June temperature higher than 23.5°C. In parts with suitable climate, high H. halys abundance was positively associated with percentage developed open area and percentage deciduous forests at 250m scale. Broad scale patterns in native stink bugs were positively associated with increasing forest cover and, in contrast to the invasive H. halys, increasing mean July temperature. Our results identify the contrasting role of temperature in structuring regional patterns in H. halys and native stink bugs, while demonstrating its interaction with resource availability and distance from source populations for structuring H. halys patterns.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These results help predicting the pest potential of H. halys and vulnerability of agricultural systems at various regions, given the climatic conditions, and its interaction with resource availability and distance from source populations. Monitoring and control efforts within parts of the United States and Europe with more suitable climate could focus in areas of peri-urban developments with deciduous forests and other host plants, along with efforts to reduce propagule pressure.
Project description:Stink bugs of the superfamilies Coreoidea and Lygaeoidea establish gut symbioses with environmentally acquired bacteria of the genus Burkholderia sensu lato. In the genus Burkholderia, the stink bug-associated strains form a monophyletic clade, named stink bug-associated beneficial and environmental (SBE) clade (or Caballeronia). Recently, we revealed that members of the family Largidae of the superfamily Pyrrhocoroidea are associated with Burkholderia but not specifically with the SBE Burkholderia; largid bugs harbor symbionts that belong to a clade of plant-associated group of Burkholderia, called plant-associated beneficial and environmental (PBE) clade (or Paraburkholderia). To understand the genomic features of Burkholderia symbionts of stink bugs, we isolated two symbiotic Burkholderia strains from a bordered plant bug Physopellta gutta (Pyrrhocoroidea: Largidae) and determined their complete genomes. The genome sizes of the insect-associated PBE (iPBE) are 9.5 Mb and 11.2 Mb, both of which are larger than the genomes of the SBE Burkholderia symbionts. A whole-genome comparison between two iPBE symbionts and three SBE symbionts highlighted that all previously reported symbiosis factors are shared and that 282 genes are specifically conserved in the five stink bug symbionts, over one-third of which have unknown function. Among the symbiont-specific genes, about 40 genes formed a cluster in all five symbionts; this suggests a "symbiotic island" in the genome of stink bug-associated Burkholderia.
Project description:We examined the salivary gland structure of the brown marmorated stink bug (Pentatomidae: Halyomorpha halys) and developed methods for independent collection of watery saliva and sheath saliva. This stink bug has become a serious invasive pest of agriculture in the United States and its saliva is largely responsible for the damage it causes. We determined by protein gel analysis and shotgun proteomics that the suite of proteins comprising the sheath and watery saliva are very distinct. Our results indicate that a substantial amount of sheath proteins are derived from tomato when stink bugs feed on tomato fruit. Consequently, the sheath saliva is comprised of both insect and plant-derived proteins. Both sheath and watery saliva possessed amylase activities, but polyphenol oxidase and glucose oxidase activities were not detected in either saliva. Peroxidase activity was only detected in salivary sheaths, but only when stink bugs fed on tomato. Proteomic analysis indicated that the peroxidase was likely of plant origin. We also determined that sheath saliva, but not watery saliva elicited the jasmonate inducible defense gene proteinase inhibitor 2 (Pin2), but this induction was only observed when sheaths had been collected from tomato. This indicates that the eliciting factor of the saliva is likely of plant origin. Lastly, neither watery or sheath saliva affected the expression of the salicylate inducible gene pathogenesis related gene (Pr1a-P4).
Project description:Nezara viridula is a polyphagous stink bug that feeds on crops of economic importance such as corn, soybean and cotton. To increase understanding of the ability of this pest insect to feed on such diverse cropping systems, we analyzed the impact of an exclusive diet of corn or green bean on the enzymatic activity and transcriptomic profile of digestive enzymes. Growth rate and survival were reduced when insects were reared exclusively on green bean compared to corn. However, the overall protease and nuclease activity profiles were comparable between the two treatments. Distinct differences in inhibitor sensitivity and activity were seen in some cases, particularly for serine proteases in some regions of the midgut. The transcription profiles from N. viridula fed on corn versus green bean were distinct on principal component analysis of RNA-seq data. While specific transcripts differentially transcribed according to diet and across several tissues were identified, a large number of these transcripts remain unannotated. Further annotation for identification of these genes will be important for improved understanding of the remarkable polyphagy of N. viridula.
Project description:In this study we focus on the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), which has a strong dispersal capacity and has had a significant impact on several cropping systems, including peach (Prunus persica (L.)). Management of H. halys has relied on intensive insecticide use, and thus a better understanding of its dispersal behavior may assist in developing improved management strategies. In order to investigate H. halys movement and distribution patterns within a peach orchard we applied ecologically safe, food protein markers to the trees along the orchard border (chicken egg albumin in the form of liquid egg whites) and to the trees within the orchard interior (bovine casein in the form of cow's milk). We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to assess whether collected H. halys were "marked" with either of the two protein markers, revealing where in the orchard the bugs had visited. From the density data we determined that H. halys is a perimeter-driven pest in peaches, with a significantly higher density of bugs collected along the orchard border. Interestingly, this trend is primarily driven by the distribution of male bugs. The protein marking data revealed that a small proportion of male H. halys move equally between the orchard border and interior, while a small proportion of females move predominately to the border after visiting the interior. The verification of a strong edge-effect, although potentially sex-specific, implies that H. halys displays a dispersal behavior that may also be exploited for management, which may help growers more efficiently and more effectively manage H. halys.