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Susceptibility of hulled and hulless barley (Gramineae) to Sitodiplosis mosellana (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)1

  • I.L. Wise (a1), R.J. Lamb (a1) and M.A.H. Smith (a1)


Modern hulless wheats, Triticum aestivum L., are more susceptible to the wheat midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana (Géhin), than the hulled, wild, ancestral species. Hulless cultivars of barley, Hordeum vulgare L., are becoming more widely grown in western Canada than in the past. Hulled and hulless cultivars of two-rowed and six-rowed barleys were tested for their susceptibility to wheat midge, to determine if this midge might become a serious pest of barley and to assess which plant traits might affect host suitability. In the field, larval populations on 10 barley cultivars were much lower than on wheat. In the laboratory, when the flag leaf sheath was peeled back to expose preflowering spikes, female midges readily oviposited on spikes of barley, although less so on younger spikes. Few larvae were able to develop on barley when eggs were laid after spikes had flowered. All barleys completed flowering, or nearly so, before spikes emerged from the flag leaf sheath, with two-rowed cultivars flowering earlier than six-rowed barleys. No differences in larval densities were found between hulless and hulled barleys, and therefore, factors other than the hulled trait must account for reduced susceptibility of barley. Because barley flowers within the flag leaf sheath, its period of susceptibility to infestation is much shorter than for wheat, as evidenced by reduced infestation of earlier-flowering two-rowed cultivars compared with later-flowering six-rowed cultivars. Also, the tight closure of the leaf-like glumes that form the florets of barley probably makes access to young seeds more difficult for newly hatched larvae than is the case for wheat. At comparable crop growth stages, larval densities on all the barleys were < 10% of those on spring wheat. The introduction of hulless barley for production in Canada is unlikely to increase wheat midge damage on barley to an economic level.

Les blés, Triticum aestivum L., à grains nus modernes sont plus vulnérables à la cécidomyie du blé, Sitodiplosis mosellana (Géhin) que les espèces sauvages ancestrales à glumes. Les cultivars d’orge, Hordeum vulgare L., à grains nus deviennent de plus en plus communs dans l’ouest canadien. La vulnérabilité à la cécidomyie du blé a été évaluée chez des cultivars d’orge à glumes et d’orge à grains nus, à deux rangs et à six rangs, afin de déterminer si cet insecte peut devenir un ravageur important de l’orge et pour établir quelles caractéristiques de la plante peuvent en affecter la vulnérabilité. En nature, les populations de larves sur 10 cultivars d’orge se sont avérées beaucoup plus faibles que sur les plants de blé. En laboratoire, lorsque la gaine de la feuille terminale était repoussée vers l’arrière pour exposer les épis avant la floraison, les femelles de l’insecte pondaient abondamment sur les épillets, quoique moins sur les jeunes épis. Peu de larves ont réussi à se développer sur les épis qui avaient déjà fleuri. Tous les cultivars sont parvenus à la fin de la floraison ou presque avant que les épis ne sortent de la gaine de la feuille terminale et les cultivars à deux rangs ont fleuri plus tôt que les cultivars à six rangs. La densité des larves était semblable dans l’orge à grains nus et dans l’orge à glumes, ce qui signifie que des facteurs autres que la présence des glumes peuvent expliquer la vulnérabilité réduite de l’orge. Comme l’orge fleurit à l’intérieur de la gaine de la feuille terminale, sa période de vulnérabilité aux infestations est beaucoup plus courte que celle du blé, comme on peut le constater par les infestations moins importantes sur les cultivars à deux rangs à floraison hâtive que sur les cultivars à six rangs à floraison plus tardive. De plus, la fermeture serrée des glumes foliacés qui forment les fleurons de l’orge rend l’accès des jeunes graines aux larves néonates plus difficile que dans le cas du blé. À des stades comparables de la croissance des cultures, la densité des larves sur tous les cultivars d’orge correspondait à < 10% de celle enregistrée sur le blé de printemps. L’introduction d’orge à grains nus dans la production canadienne ne risque pas d’augmenter les dommages à l’orge par la cécidomyie du blé jusqu’à un niveau qui ait des répercussions économiques.

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Contribution No. 1804 of the Cereal Research Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba.



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Susceptibility of hulled and hulless barley (Gramineae) to Sitodiplosis mosellana (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae)1

  • I.L. Wise (a1), R.J. Lamb (a1) and M.A.H. Smith (a1)


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