Changes in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate content, and the weight loss of soybean seeds caused by the feeding of 6- to 7-d-old unmated male adults of the pentatomids Peizodorous hybneri (Gmelin) and Halymorpha halys (Stål), and an alydid, Riptortus pedestris (F.), were examined in the laboratory. Our goals were to determine which species had the greatest capacity to damage soybean seed and to measure the effect of that damage on the nutritional composition of soybean seed. Individuals of the three species were provided with a preweighed dry soybean seed and allowed to feed for 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 d, after which the remaining seed was analyzed for any change in weight, protein, lipid, and carbohydrate concentration. Lipids, carbohydrates, and seed weights were reduced by bug feeding, and the reduction was directly proportional to feeding duration. H. halys was found to be the most voracious feeder, reducing soybean seed weight by 42% after 24 d of feeding. There was a significant interaction between species and feeding duration for changes in nutritional components. Seeds fed on by H. halys had the highest incremental increase in protein content (13%) after 24 d of feeding, followed by those fed on by R. pedestris and P. hybneri. However, carbohydrates and lipid content of the soybean seeds fed by the tested insect species were found to decrease significantly. Soybean pods at mature stages remain in the field for a long period, and findings of our study suggest that longer exposure of the mature soybean pods to these pest species in the field may lead to low-quality seeds and lower yields, and may even affect the germination potential of the seeds.
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Vol. 107 • No. 3