The Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), devastates wheat and barley production on all continents except Australia. Although D. noxia-resistant cultivars exist, virulent D. noxia populations exist in Asia, North America, and South America that have the ability to overcome resistance. In this study, synthetic hexaploid wheat genotypes created at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) were evaluated and characterized for resistance to North American biotype 2 (RWA2). Fewer RWA2 were produced on several genotypes, and D. noxia-induced leaf rolling and chlorosis were reduced on these genotypes as well. Aphid numbers were positively correlated with chlorosis and with leaf rolling. However, some genotypes were highly resistant to leaf rolling and chlorosis while supporting large RWA2 populations. There were negative correlations between leaf chlorosis and leaf dry weight (r = -0.267, df = 106, P = 0.006) and between aphid numbers and leaf dry weight (r = -0.297, df = 105, P = 0.002). These results indicate that chlorosis and aphid number individually explain at least 27% of the changes observed in leaf dry weights. Interestingly, there was no correlation between leaf rolling and leaf dry weight. The RWA2-resistant lines identified, which are also resistant to D. noxia populations in Mexico and to greenbug (Schizaphis graminum Rondani) biotype G, are strong candidates for use in improving the genetic diversity in bread wheat for resistance to different biotypes of both S. graminum and D. noxia.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3