Eight biotypes of the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov), have been discovered in the United States since 2003. Biotypes are identified by the distinct feeding damage responses they produce on wheat carrying different Russian wheat aphid resistance genes, namely, from Dn1 to Dn9. Each Russian wheat aphid biotype has been named using plant damage criteria and virulence categories that have varied between studies. The study was initiated to compare the plant damage caused by all the eight known Russian wheat aphid biotypes, and analyze the results to determine how Russian wheat aphid virulence should be classified. Each Russian wheat aphid biotype was evaluated on 16 resistant or susceptible cereal genotypes. Plant damage criteria included leaf roll, leaf chlorosis, and plant height. The distribution of chlorosis ratings followed a bimodal pattern indicating two categories of plant responses, resistant or susceptible. Correlations were significant between chlorosis ratings and leaf roll (r2 = 0.72) and between chlorosis ratings and plant height (r2 = 0.48). The response of 16 cereal genotypes to feeding by eight Russian wheat aphid biotypes found RWA1, RWA2, RWA6, and RWA8 to differ in virulence, while Russian wheat aphid biotypes RWA3, RWA4, RWA5, and RWA7 produced similar virulence profiles. These biotypes have accordingly been consolidated to what is hereafter referred to as RWA3/7. Our results indicated that the five main biotypes RWA1, RWA2, RWA3/7, RWA6, and RWA8 can be identified using only four wheat genotypes containing Dn3, Dn4, Dn6, and Dn9.
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Vol. 107 • No. 3