Cotton fleahopper (Pseudatomoscelis seriatus Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae) is a piercing—sucking insect that has emerged as a major pest of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in Texas. Cotton fleahoppers feed on floral buds, commonly referred to as squares, causing damage and abscission, and subsequent yield loss. Previous studies indicate that plant resistance to cotton fleahopper is present in upland cotton, but the mechanism of resistance remains undetermined. In this study, Pilose, a cultigen of G. hirsutum, was examined as a source of resistance to cotton fleahopper, focusing on mechanism of resistance and heritability of the resistance trait. Results indicated that the resistance trait in Pilose is heritable and that pubescence is causative of resistance or that the resistance trait may be tightly linked to genes controlling pubescence. Behavioral assays indicated nonpreference as a mode of resistance in plants with dense pubescence.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4