Environmental Entomology (2021) 50, 202-207

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James Hepler, Rodney Cooper and Elizabeth Beers (2021)
Host plant signal persistence in the gut of the brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)
Environmental Entomology 50 (1), 202-207
Abstract: Determining the host range of an invasive insect in a new environment is a key step in the development of management strategies. As the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys Stål, expands into agricultural regions of North America, efforts to elucidate its dietary habits on a landscape scale rely on intensive sampling of potential host plants. Although this approach yields useful information, results can be biased toward common and easily sampled plant species; important hosts can be missed if sampling them is impractical or limited in scope. Here we lay the groundwork for the application of gut content analysis to the feeding ecology of H. halys by investigating the persistence of host plant DNA in the digestive tracts of insects with known feeding histories. Adult H. halys were fed bean seedlings (Phaseolus lunatus L.) for 7 d, followed by a forced host switch to carrot (Daucus carota L.). Insect guts were dissected out at 0, 1, 3, 7, and 14 d following the switch, and host plant chloroplast genes (trnF and trnL) were amplified via polymerase chain reaction. Amplicons were identified using high-throughput sequencing and analyzed for Phaseolus DNA. The original host remained detectable at 3 d (trnF) and 14 d (trnL) in substantial quantities. The proportion of total reads identified as Phaseolus rapidly decreased with time; a concomitant increase in Daucus reads was observed. Our results indicate that high-throughput sequencing of gut contents has great potential for exploring the dietary histories of field-caught H. halys and other phytophagous insects.
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Database assignments for author(s): Elizabeth H. Beers

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

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


Halyomorpha halys Beans (Phaseolus)