Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) in Louisiana is colonized by two aphid species, the sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari (Zehntner), and the yellow sugarcane aphid, Sipha flava (Forbes) (Hemiptera: Aphididae). The main problem associated with M. sacchari is transmission of sugarcane yellow leaf virus, a casual agent of yellow leaf disease whose absence has been added to certification standards for micropropagated sugarcane in Louisiana. Greenhouse studies were conducted to categorize dominant commercial sugarcane cultivars for their ability to tolerate aphid injury and to express antixenotic or antibiotic effects on both aphid species. Antixenosis tests showed no preference among cultivars by either aphid species. Loss of chlorophyll content in tolerance tests also did not show differences among cultivars for both aphid species. However, antibiosis tests revealed that life history parameters such as the duration of the reproductive period and fecundity of both aphid species were negatively affected on ‘HoCP 91-555’ compared with ‘L 97-128’, Estimation of demographic statistics indicated that both aphid species exhibited a significantly lower intrinsic rate of increase (1.8–2.8-fold) and longer doubling time (1.7–3.1-fold) on HoCP 91-555 relative to L 97–128. From these tests, cultivars in the current study can be ranked from most to the least susceptible as L 97–128 > ‘LCP 85–384’ > ‘HoCP 96–540’ > ‘Ho 95–988’ > HoCP 91–555 for M. sacchari and L 97–128 > LCP 85–384 > HoCP 91–555 for S. flava. Therefore, antibiosis is an important category of resistance in sugarcane to both aphid species, and HoCP 91–555 might provide useful germplasm for developing aphid resistant cultivars.
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Vol. 103 • No. 4