The role of soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, pod trichomes on feeding by adult bean leaf beetles, Cerotoma trifurcata (Förster), was evaluated under laboratory and field conditions during 1997 and 1998. Three Clark isolines and ‘Corsoy 79’ were used to compare the feeding preference of the beetle on pods with different trichome densities. The three Clark isolines, including densely pubescent, sparsely pubescent, and glabrous, were isogenic except for trichome density. The trichome densities on the pods of Clark densely pubescent, Clark sparsely pubescent, and Corsoy 79 were significantly different. In no-choice tests, under both laboratory and field conditions, the feeding on pods of Clark densely pubescent was significantly lower than that on the other isolines. In the choice test of Corsoy 79 conducted in the laboratory and field, when the trichomes on one of the two pods were shaven off, the feeding on the shaven pods was significantly higher than that of the intact ones. In the choice test among Clark isolines under laboratory condition, the result was significant, with the lowest feeding on the densely pubescent pods. This study demonstrates that densely pubescent soybean has the potential to resist bean leaf beetle feeding on pods.
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