Since the discovery of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae), in North America in 2000, chemical control has been the most effective method to manage aphid outbreaks. Increased insecticide use in soybean raises the possibility of developing insecticide resistance in soybean aphid, and monitoring insecticide susceptibility is essential to maintain pesticide tools. We developed a simple and reliable aphid-dip bioassay by using a tea strainer that resulted in -90% survival in controls. Using this technique, we tested susceptibility of a greenhouse strain of soybean aphid that has never been exposed to insecticides, and field-collected aphid strains from two counties in Michigan. Aphid susceptibility was tested for five insecticides by dipping groups of five aphids in each insecticide dose for 10 s. After 48 h, aphids were classified as dead or alive, and counted. Aphids from all strains were highly susceptible to chlorpyrifos, lambda-cyhalothrin, esfenvalerate, and dimethoate, with LC50 and LC90 values well below the recommended application rates. However, aphids showed less susceptibility after 48 h to neonicotinoid imidacloprid, with higher LC90s and wider fiducial limits. This illustrated the potential limitation of using a 48-h assay to evaluate insecticides with longer-term, sublethal impacts. Nevertheless, this study made use of a simple aphid-dip method to test and compare insecticide susceptibility of soybean aphid. In the event of a field failure, the aphid populations involved can be tested in comparison to a susceptible greenhouse strain to determine the extent of resistance development.
Public-sector scientists have a mandate to independently evaluate agricultural products available to American farmers on the open market, whereas the companies that sell the products must protect their intellectual property. However, as a consequence of the latter concern, public scientists currently are prohibited by industry-imposed restrictions from conducting research on commercialized transgenic seed without permission of the company. Industry acknowledged the seriousness of the problem after public warnings by a large group of entomologists to EPA and scientific advisory panels that the assumption of independence of public-sector studies on these products is no longer valid under current restrictions. Both industry and public scientists are working to find an amicable, mutually-acceptable solution. Recently, the American Seed Trade Association brokered a draft set of principles designed to protect the legitimate property rights of companies while allowing public scientists independence to conduct most types of research on their commercialized products without the need for case-by-case agreements. While there are a number of potential pitfalls in implementation of the principles across companies, this effort represents a major step forward, and there is reason for optimism that this approach can be made to work to the benefit of industry, public scientists, and the American public.
Soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae), is one of the most damaging pests of soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, in the midwestern United States and Canada. We compared three soybean aphid management techniques in three midwestern states (Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota) for a 3-yr period (2005-2007). Management techniques included an untreated control, an insecticidal seed treatment, an insecticide fungicide tank-mix applied at flowering (i.e., a prophylactic treatment), and an integrated pest management (IPM) treatment (i.e., an insecticide applied based on a weekly scouting and an economic threshold). In 2005 and 2007, multiple locations experienced aphid population levels that exceeded the economic threshold, resulting in the application of the IPM treatment. Regardless of the timing of the application, all insecticide treatments reduced aphid populations compared with the untreated, and all treatments protected yield as compared with the untreated. Treatment efficacy and cost data were combined to compute the probability of a positive economic return. The IPM treatment had the highest probability of cost effectiveness, compared with the prophylactic tank-mix of fungicide and insecticide. The probability of surpassing the gain threshold was highest in the IPM treatment, regardless of the scouting cost assigned to the treatment (ranging from $0.00 to $19.76/ha). Our study further confirms that a single insecticide application can enhance the profitability of soybean production at risk of a soybean aphid outbreak if used within an IPM based system.
The soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae), is an economically important pest of soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, in the United States. Phenological information of A. glycines is limited; specifically, little is known about factors guiding migrating aphids and potential impacts of long distance flights on local population dynamics. Increasing our understanding of A. glycines population dynamics may improve predictions of A. glycines outbreaks and improve management efforts. In 2005 a suction trap network was established in seven Midwest states to monitor the occurrence of alates. By 2006, this network expanded to 10 states and consisted of 42 traps. The goal of the STN was to monitor movement of A. glycines from their overwintering host Rhamnus spp. to soybean in spring, movement among soybean fields during summer, and emigration from soybean to Rhamnus in fall. The objective of this study was to infer movement patterns of A. glycines on a regional scale based on trap captures, and determine the suitability of certain statistical methods for future analyses. Overall, alates were not commonly collected in suction traps until June. The most alates were collected during a 3-wk period in the summer (late July to mid-August), followed by the fall, with a peak capture period during the last 2 wk of September. Alate captures were positively correlated with latitude, a pattern consistent with the distribution of Rhamnus in the United States, suggesting that more southern regions are infested by immigrants from the north.
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