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1 February 2009 Temporal Analysis of Cotton Boll Symptoms Resulting From Southern Green Stink Bug Feeding and Transmission of a Bacterial Pathogen
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Abstract

The southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.), is a significant pest of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., and is becoming an increasing challenge due to the decrease in use of broad-spectrum insecticides on the crop. The southern green stink bug can vector an opportunistic Pantoea agglomerans strain (designated Sc 1-R) into cotton bolls, resulting in infection. The appearance of stink bug damage varies, and pest managers cannot readily identify its source. This research reports a systematic depiction of green, immature boll responses at various stages of maturity (1, 2, and 3 wk post-anthesis [WPA]) to stink bug injury and to infection by the vectored cotton pathogen by demonstrating the progression of effects 1, 2, and 3 wk after exposure (WAE). When laboratory-reared adult southern green stink bug not harboring Sc 1-R deposited bacteria into greenhouse-grown bolls at 1, 2, or 3 WPA during feeding/probing, bacteria reached concentrations of 109, 109, and 103 colony-forming units (CFUs)/g tissue, respectively, at 3 WAE, yet caused minimal seed and lint damage regardless of the age of the bolls that were penetrated. Bolls at a maturity of 1 or 2 WPA showed similar susceptibility when exposed to stink bugs that vectored Sc 1-R. After a week of infection, seeds were salmon-pink with normal white lint and up to 104 CFUs/g tissue when Sc 1-R was detected. Necrosis of the entire inoculated locule(s) with a maximum Sc 1-R concentration detected at 108 CFUs/g tissue occurred in samples harvested 2 or 3 WAE. Conversely, seed and lint deterioration due to the transmitted opportunist into bolls exposed 3 WPA was confined to the puncture site. In summary, after a week of development, bolls were tolerant to southern green stink bug feeding/ probing damage and to nonpathogenic bacteria, but they were severely damaged when the opportunistic pathogen Sc 1-R was transmitted. At 3 WPA, the fruit was immune to the spread of the pathogen with infections confined to the puncture site.

Enrique Gino Medrano, Jesus F. Esquivel, Robert L. Nichols, and Alois A. Bell "Temporal Analysis of Cotton Boll Symptoms Resulting From Southern Green Stink Bug Feeding and Transmission of a Bacterial Pathogen," Journal of Economic Entomology 102(1), 36-42, (1 February 2009). https://doi.org/10.1603/029.102.0106
Received: 14 May 2008; Accepted: 1 August 2008; Published: 1 February 2009
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