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Sources of variation in the interaction between three cereal aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and wheat (Poaceae)

  • S.M. Migui (a1) (a2) and R.J. Lamb (a1)


The relative contributions of host plant, herbivore species and clone to variation in the interaction between cereal aphids and wheat were investigated using five clones each of three species, Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus), Sitobion avenae (Fabricius) and Schizaphis graminum (Rondani), on seedlings of two cultivars of Triticum aestivum L. and one cultivar of Triticum durum Desf. More individuals and biomass of R. padi than of the other two species were produced on seedlings. The three wheat cultivars lost similar amounts of biomass as a result of infestation by aphids, with the amount lost depending on aphid species: S. avenae caused the lowest loss in biomass. Variation in aphid biomass production was due mostly to differences among aphid species (70%), less to the interaction between wheat type and aphid species (7%), and least to aphid clone (1%). The specific impact of the aphids on the plants ranged from 1.7 to 3.7 mg of plant biomass lost per mg of aphid biomass gained, being lowest for R. padi and highest for S. graminum. Variation in plant biomass lost to herbivory was due mostly to unknown sources of error (95%), probably phenotypic differences among individual seedlings, with 3% due to aphid species and none attributable to aphid clone. For these aphid–plant interactions, differences among aphid clones within species contributed little to variation in aphid and plant productivity; therefore, a small sample of clones was adequate for quantifying the interactions. Furthermore, one clone of each species maintained in the laboratory for about 200 parthenogenetic generations was indistinguishable from clones collected recently from the field.


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Sources of variation in the interaction between three cereal aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and wheat (Poaceae)

  • S.M. Migui (a1) (a2) and R.J. Lamb (a1)


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