Green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), does not overwinter outdoors in Minnesota; it arrives each spring on low-level jet streams from the south. After arrival, anholocylic reproduction occurs on numerous herbaceous species, including many common weeds, before movement to potato, Solanum tuberosum L. In investigating aphid feeding behavior on barrier crops, we observed winter wheat, Triticum aestivum L., colonized by green peach aphid. The Northern Great Plains grows 94,000 ha of potatoes and 20.5 million ha of small grain cereals each year, the latter potentially providing an early emerging and widely distributed green peach aphid host to influence early season potato colonization. Life tables statistics indicated green peach aphid had its highest reproductive potential among cereals on winter wheat, with rye (Secale cereale L.) > barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) > oats (Avena sativa L.). Green peach aphid was found to colonize barley, rye, and winter wheat, but not oats. Mean generation time, net reproductive rate, doubling time, and finite rate of increase were significantly different between host plants. Electrical penetration graph technique indicated mean nonpenetration duration by green peach aphid was significantly different among plant species, and significantly longer on winter wheat than on the other cereals. Mean xylem phase duration was not significantly different among plant species but sieve element salivation was of longest duration on potato. Phloem sap ingestion (E2) was also significantly different among plant species with longest E2 duration on winter wheat. This study demonstrates that this aphid can effectively use key cereals at the vegetative stage.
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