Screening of Deciduous Azalea for Resistance to Azalea Lace Bug

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  • 1 1Dept. of Horticulture, Georgia Station, Griffin, GA 30223
  • | 2 2Dept. of Entomology, Georgia Station, Griffin, GA 30223

Azalea lace bug is the most serious pest of cultivated azalea. Though deciduous azaleas are generally considered to be more resistant to lace bug than are evergreen azaleas, some variation in resistance has been reported. The identification of the genetic and physiological basis of resistance is important to eventual development of resistant cultivars of both the deciduous and evergreen azaleas. The first step in this program is to evaluate a wide range of deciduous azaleas for level of resistance. Laboratory evaluations were conducted on nine species and two hybrid cultivars of deciduous azalea and a known susceptible cultivar of evergreen azalea, `Delaware Valley White'. Oviposition rate, rate of egg hatch, number of nymphs surviving, and percent damaged leaf area were evaluated for each of the tested genotypes. Results indicated a wide range of susceptibility, with R. canescens and R. periclymenoides plants highly resistant to infection, while R. atlanticum and R. viscosum were highly susceptible.

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