Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata (2013) 147, 141-153

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Charles M. Oliveira, João R.S. Lopes and Lowell R. Nault (2013)
Survival strategies of Dalbulus maidis during maize off-season in Brazil
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 147 (2), 141-153
Abstract: Despite the importance of Dalbulus maidis (DeLong and Wolcott) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) as a vector of maize-stunting pathogens, it is not understood how this leafhopper survives the maize off-season in regions where overwintering hosts do not occur. We investigated migration and the use of alternate hosts as possible survival mechanisms for D. maidis during maize off-season in Brazil. Dalbulus maidis populations were monitored with yellow sticky cards for 16-29 months in Anastácio (Mato Grosso do Sul State), in two farms with perennial pastures (Pasture1 and Pasture2), where maize had not been planted for >5 years, in a subsistence farm >20 km distant, where maize was annually planted (spring) (Maize1), and in Piracicaba (São Paulo State), where maize was grown year round (Maize2). RAPD-PCR analysis of leafhoppers sampled on maize in two plots (Maize1 and Pasture1) at 15-20 and 110-120 days after germination was performed. Dalbulus maidis was trapped in the maize plots of all areas, but not in weedy or woody vegetation adjacent to the plots. Higher numbers were trapped throughout the year in Piracicaba, where maize was continuously grown under irrigation, and in the subsistence farm of Anastácio, where volunteer maize plants were available for long periods in the maize off-season. In Anastácio farms, some population peaks were recorded in the absence of maize from midwinter to early spring, especially after soil plowing. RAPD-PCR analysis showed that D. maidis populations sampled were genetically similar. Our data suggest that D. maidis uses a mixed strategy to survive the over-season period in Brazil, in which part of the population overwinters locally on volunteer maize plants or nearby irrigated maize crops, whereas the other individuals migrate to colonize new maize crops in distant areas or regions. We hypothesize that immigrant D. maidis uses the contrast between plowed and vegetated soil as a visual cue for locating new maize crops.
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Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Charles Martins de Oliveira, João Roberto Spotti Lopes

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
population dynamics/ epidemiology


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Dalbulus maidis Maize/corn (Zea mays) Brazil (south)