The susceptibility of seventeen deciduous species or cultivars and one evergreen cultivar of azalea (Rhododendron spp.) to azalea lace bug (Stephanitis pyrioides Scott) was evaluated in field and laboratory experiments. Rhododendron canescens Michx. and R. periclymenoides (Michx.) Shinners were the most resistant species, followed by R. prunifolium (Small) Millais. Ratings were based on oviposition rate, percentage emergence from the egg, feeding damage, and nymphal growth rate. The most susceptible genotypes were TNLV1, R. oblongifolium (Small) Millais, R. alabamense Rehder, R. serrulatum (Small) Millais, R. viscosum (L.) Torr., `Buttercup', and `My Mary'. Leaf water content and leaf pubescence were significantly different among taxa. However, leaf water content was not significantly correlated with azalea lace bug performance, and insufficient evidence was available to conclude that leaf pubescence was involved in azalea lace bug resistance.
Yuefang Wang, Carol D. Robacker and S. Kristine Braman
Yuefang Wang, Carol D. Robacker and S.K. Braman
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.
Yuefang Wang, S. Kristine Braman, Carol D. Robacker, Joyce G. Latimer and Karl E. Espelie
Epicuticular lipids were extracted from the foliage of six deciduous and one evergreen azalea genotypes (Rhododendron sp.) and identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The relationship of leaf-surface lipid composition with measures of resistance to azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides Scott, was evaluated. Each genotype had a distinct epicuticular lipid composition. The major surface lipid components from all test taxa were n-alkanes and triterpenoids. In the most resistant genotypes [R. canescens Michaux and R. periclymenoides (Michaux) Shinners] ursolic acid, n-hentriacontane, and n-nonacosane were the most abundant epicuticular lipids. The lipids present in largest proportion among all susceptible deciduous genotypes tested were α-amyrin, β-amyrin, and n-nonacosane. The proportions of the lipid components from the same plant of each genotype varied between spring and fall samples. Among classes of lipids, n-alkanes, n-1-alkanols, and triterpenoids had significant correlations with azalea lace bug behavior on host plants. Among individual components, heptadecanoic acid, n-hentriacontane, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid and one unknown compound (with major mass spectra 73/179/192/284/311) were significantly negatively correlated with host plant susceptibility to azalea lace bug, as measured by oviposition, leaf area damaged, egg and nymphal development, and nymphal survivorship. Triacontanol, α-amyrin, β-amyrin, and three unknowns were significantly positively correlated with host plant susceptibility. Acceptance or rejection by azalea lace bug to a particular plant may be mediated by a balance of positively and negatively interpreted sensory signals evoked by plant chemicals. This study indicated that the high levels of resistance observed in R. canescens and R. periclymenoides may be due to the lesser amount or the absence of attractants and stimulants for feeding or oviposition.