Direct current electrical penetration graphs (DC-EPGs) were used to analyze the stylet penetration activities of cowpea aphid, Aphis craccivora Koch, on plants of aphid-resistant (ICV-12) and aphid-susceptible (ICV-1) cultivars of cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walpers. Aphid stylet penetration on whole plants at seedling, flowering, and podding stages were studied in one experiment, and in another experiment excised leaves from seedling plants, excised flowers, and excised pods were tested. Electrical signals depicting the aphid stylet penetration activities on their host plants were amplified, recorded onto a paper chart recorder, and scored for specific waveform patterns. Compared with similar tissues of ICV-1, intact leaves and excised seedling foliage of ICV-12 plants caused severe disruption of aphid stylet penetration activities. This was manifested in frequent penetration attempts that were abruptly terminated or unsustained, and in shorter penetration times, signifying antixenosis resistance in ICV-12. There was reduced occurrence of E waveforms, which represent stylet activity in plant vascular tissues. Also, prior exposure of test aphids to plants of one cultivar did not significantly influence the expected stylet penetration activities on plants of the other cultivar. Overall, ICV-12 exhibited high levels of resistance against A. craccivora.
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Vol. 93 • No. 1