Crop enhancement with value added traits may affect vulnerability to insects, and evaluating the susceptibility levels of the various value added traits in elite germplasm would aid in developing integrated pest management strategies. During 2007–2008, five ‘Benning’ soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr) lines with different value added nutritional traits and four insect resistant quantitative trait loci (QTL) lines were evaluated in an effort to determine their pest vulnerability under artificial and natural insect pest populations. The lines showed variable susceptibility to lepidopterous insect pests classified as defoliators and stem feeders in replicated greenhouse and field tests. The study was carried out in Athens and Midville, GA. The green cloverworm (Hypena scabra (F.)) was the most common lepidopteran defoliator occurring in the fields. Other caterpillar pests found included the soybean looper (Pseudoplusia includens (Walker)), the bollworm (Helicoverpa zea (Boddie)), and the velvetbean caterpillar (Anticarsia gemmatalis (Hübner)). Data indicated that there was no significantly increased pest susceptibility among the value added cultivais with improved nutritional qualities, with the insect resistant quantitative trait loci lines Benning M and Benning MGH consistently being less susceptible to lepidopterous (Noctuidae) leaf injury.
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