Host plant resistance and biological control are important components of integrated pest management programs. However, plants expressing resistance to herbivores may also have direct or indirect negative effects on natural enemies simultaneously providing pest suppression. Soybean aphids (Aphis glycines Matsumura) are invasive and serious pests of soybean (Glycine max L.) in the United States. Several soybean lines with aphid resistance have been identified, but the long-term impact of these resistant plants on soybean aphid biological control agents is uncertain. In a previous study, we reported that a soybean aphid parasitoid, Binodoxys communis (Gahan) had lower mummy production on resistant plants compared with a near isogenic susceptible soybean line, but the reason for this was unclear. Therefore, we examined three possible mechanisms to explain these findings: 1) resistant plants directly impact wasp emergence and longevity, 2) varying aphid density influences parasitism rates, and 3) resistant plants indirectly affect wasp development through reduced aphid longevity. We found that parasitoids in this study were not directly influenced by resistant cultivais, as there was no difference in wasp adult emergence or longevity between resistant and susceptible plants. There was also no significant effect of aphid density on mummy production over the range of aphid densities we tested. However, aphids on resistant plants had significantly shorter lifespans and were unable to survive long enough to develop into mummies compared with aphids on susceptible plants. We discuss these results and possible implications for integrating biological control and host plant resistance within soybean aphid integrated pest management programs.
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Vol. 41 • No. 6