Preliminary Investigations of Host Selection Mechanisms by the Leafminer Liriomyza Trifolii
—The leafminer, Liriomyza trifola Burgess, a polyphagous agricultural pest, can attack crops at different stages of development; some are attacked at the beginning of the crop cycle and others at the end of the cycle. Experiments on the differential susceptibility of the bean Phaseolus vulgaris and the potato Solanum tuberosum plants were done to get some information about factors which influence host selection by the leafminer. The distribution and density of leaf trichomes, as well as the nutritional status of the host plants, were found to be important in host selection. High trichome density acts as a physical deterrent to Liriomyza flies, just as senescing primary bean leaves induce non-acceptability. When given a choice, flies prefer bean to potato leaf discs, though the latter possess less trichomes. Other factors (chemical attractants and some nutrient components) might therefore also be involved in the complex host selection behaviour of L. trifola.
Key WordsLeafminer Liriomyza trifola host selection Phaseolus vulgaris Solanum tuberosum trichomes nutritional status
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