Antixenotic resistance of subterranean clover cotyledons to redlegged earth mite, Halotydeus destructor

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The short-term response of redlegged earth mite, Halotydeus destructor (Tucker) (Acarina: Penthaleidae) to cotyledons of different varieties of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum subsp. subterraneum L.) was assessed by means of paired choice tests, and no-choice tests. H. destructor had lower numbers and fed less on detached cotyledons of resistant than susceptible varieties, yielding a correlation between the numbers of mites and feeding damage to the cotyledons during a three hour test period. For a number of resistant and susceptible varieties, there was a negative correlation between cotyledon deterrence in the three hour choice test and feeding damage to seedlings after a two week period. Since the response of the mites to different subclover varieties occurred within three hours, it is concluded that the resistance is based on antixenosis. No evidence was obtained for antifeedant activity in organic solvent extracts from the variety DGI007 (resistant) in comparison with those from the variety Dalkeith (susceptible). Water soluble compounds from DGI007 cotyledons were preferred by mites, in feeding tests in terms of numbers, over those from Dalkeith (susceptible). Squeezed sap from the cotyledons of both varieties showed the same effects on mites as 5% glucose and were more phagostimulatory than water extracts. Mechanically damaged cotyledons of Dalkeith and DGI007 attracted more mites than the undamaged counterparts. The toughness of cotyledons in 17 varieties of T. subterraneum subsp. subterraneum was measured with a manual penetrometer. Results showed a negative correlation between toughness values and mite feeding damage scores (r2 = 0.752) for all varieties except S3615D (resistant). This implies a likely involvement of epidermal toughness as a contributor in the antixenotic resistance of these varieties. Other mechanisms may be involved in the resistance of S3615D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1996


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