The soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae), is an economically important pest in the north central United States. In the state of Iowa, economically damaging populations occurred in seven of 11 growing seasons from 2001 to 2011. The high frequency and economic impact of the soybean aphid makes it an ideal candidate for management by using host plant resistance. We compared an aphid-susceptible line to near-isolines that contain Rag1 and Rag2, both alone and pyramided together, to suppress aphid populations and protect yield. Each of four near-isolines, were artificially infested with aphids and grown in small plots in which the exposure to natural enemies was controlled by the use of cages, resulting in the following treatment groups: natural enemy free (only aphids),biocontrol (both aphids and natural enemies), and aphid free (no aphids or natural enemies). The seasonal accumulation of aphids and the population growth rates were measured for each line and an estimate of yield was measured at the end of the season. Soybean aphid population growth rate was reduced 20% by natural enemies alone, 44% by pyramided resistance, and 63% by the combination of natural enemies and pyramided resistance. This reduction in population growth rate resulted in a 99.3% reduction in the pyramid line's seasonal exposure to aphids. In the presence of natural enemies, all three resistant lines maintained aphid populations below the economic injury level and prevented yield loss. This study demonstrates the compatibility of biological control with soybean aphid host plant resistance and its utility, especially for single resistance gene lines.
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Vol. 105 • No. 5