Effects of induced plant resistance on soybean looper (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in soybean

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© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature. Soybean looper, Chrysodeixis includens (Walker), is one of the most destructive pests of soybean in the southern U.S. Soybean looper defoliation exceeding 20% from R3 (pod initiation) to R5 (pod fill) can result in significant yield loss. In addition, soybean looper is highly resistant to many insecticides. An alternative to insecticide control is induced host plant resistance. In this study, a total of four experiments over 2 years were conducted in which three different elicitors of SAR (systemic acquired resistance), Actigard 50WG (acibenzolar-S-methyl), Regalia (extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis), and methyl jasmonate (MeJA), were applied to soybean at different plant stages to determine if these chemicals could induce plant resistance and lower soybean looper fitness. None of the elicitors of SAR significantly affected soybean looper mortality. However, Actigard 50WG, MeJA, and Regalia had adverse effects on developmental time, defoliation, and pupal weight of soybean looper. Induced effects by Regalia on soybean looper were very limited compared to Actigard 50WG and MeJA. A single application of MeJA reduced pupal weight by 6.8% and delayed larval development by 14.3%. Soybean seed production was not affected by application of elicitors. In conclusion, the results suggest that exogenous elicitors applied in the field can trigger plant resistance against herbivores and this low level of host plant resistance may effectively lessen pest pressure by favoring natural enemy population regulation without reducing seed production.

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Arthropod-Plant Interactions

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