Brown Planthopper (N. lugens Stal) Feeding Behaviour on Rice Germplasm as an Indicator of Resistance

MBAB Ghaffar, Jeremy Pritchard, Brian Ford-Lloyd

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The brown planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens (Stal) is a serious pest of rice in Asia. Development of novel control strategies can be facilitated by comparison of BPH feeding behaviour on varieties exhibiting natural genetic variation, and then elucidation of the underlying mechanisms of resistance. Methodology/Principal Findings: BPH feeding behaviour was compared on 12 rice varieties over a 12 h period using the electrical penetration graph (EPG) and honeydew clocks. Seven feeding behaviours (waveforms) were identified and could be classified into two phases. The first phase involved patterns of sieve element location including non penetration (NP), pathway (N1+N2+N3), xylem (N5) [21] and two new feeding waveforms, derailed stylet mechanics (N6) and cell penetration (N7). The second feeding phase consisted of salivation into the sieve element (N4-a) and sieve element sap ingestion (N4-b). Production of honeydew drops correlated with N4-b waveform patterns providing independent confirmation of this feeding behaviour. Conclusions/Significance: Overall variation in feeding behaviour was highly correlated with previously published field resistance or susceptibility of the different rice varieties: BPH produced lower numbers of honeydew drops and had a shorter period of phloem feeding on resistant rice varieties, but there was no significant difference in the time to the first salivation (N4-b). These qualitative differences in behaviour suggest that resistance is caused by differences in sustained phloem ingestion, not by phloem location. Cluster analysis of the feeding and honeydew data split the 12 rice varieties into three groups: susceptible, moderately resistant and highly resistant. The screening methods that we have described uncover novel aspects of the resistance mechanism (or mechanisms) of rice to BPH and will in combination with molecular approaches allow identification and development of new control strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e22137
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011


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