Development of host plant resistance to Lygus feeding damage in alfalfa, beans and cotton


Justification and Problem Statement    Lygus bugs (Order Hemiptera, suborder Heteroptera, family Miridae) are a serious pest of many agricultural crops, including alfalfa, beans, and cotton. Lygus bugs feed on various plant tissues using piercing and sucking mouthparts. During penetration and feeding, saliva (containing many enzymes and amino acids) from the bug is injected into the target tissue in a “lacerate-and-flush” action. Damage is manifested in tissue necrosis, distortion and abscission of fruits, growth retardation, and discoloration. This damage is due to maceration by the salivary enzymes, principally polygalacturonase (PG). Producers of these crops currently treat extensively with insecticides to control these pests. In the absence of…

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