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  • Author or Editor: Hongmin Qin x
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Crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS; Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae Kuwana), a fast-spreading invasive insect, has been causing damage to popular landscape plants in at least 17 states in the United States since 2004. This invasive insect has a list of documented plant hosts in ∼23 genera, which includes its primary hosts, crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.), as well as other important plant species, such as pomegranates, apple, and the native plant American beautyberry. Previous studies have shown CMBS causes different levels of feeding damage among its plant hosts, while the underlining plant defense mechanisms toward CMBS attacks remain elusive. A better understanding of plant–CMBS interactions and how CMBS performs under different plants (e.g., a susceptible vs. a resistant host) can provide valuable guidance for integrated pest management. Therefore, in this study, we conducted the age-stage, two-sex table study analysis to evaluate the biological parameters of CMBS on different species or cultivars of crapemyrtle under laboratory conditions (25 °C and 250 μmol·m−2·s−1 light with a photoperiod of 12 hours:12 hours (light:dark). Crapemyrtle bark scale development was found to be greatly influenced by the hosts. This study aims to provide important biological and ecological data on CMBS using a comprehensive life table study to gain a thorough understanding of its development, survival, and fecundity on different crapemyrtle species or cultivars.

Open Access

Crapemyrtle bark scale (CMBS; Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae Kuwana) is an invasive insect that was first discovered in the United States in 2004. The polyphagous feeding habit of CMBS has allowed it to infest a wide range of plant species beyond its primary host, Lagerstroemia. Using molecular approaches, we studied the genetic relationships between CMBS specimens and their hosts from different geographic locations. Naturally occurring CMBS infestations were confirmed on American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana L.), a native plant species in the United States, and spirea (Spiraea L.). The new infestation of CMBS found on Spiraea raises the alarm that other economically important crops in the Amygdaloideae subfamily (subfamily under Rosaceae) might be susceptible to CMBS attacks.

Open Access