, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 377-382
Date: 20 Feb 2009

Acceptance of low-saponin lines of alfalfa with varied phenolic concentrations by pea aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae)

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Abstract

This research aims to examine the effect of phenolics on pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) (Homoptera: Aphididae) development and feeding behaviour, on leaves of selected low-saponin lines of Radius alfalfa (Medicago sativa). There was a slight, negative correlation (Spearman rank correlation r s = −0.80) between concentrations of saponins and phenols. Lines with higher concentrations of saponins had less phenolics. Levels of phenolics in low-saponin lines of alfalfa cv. Radius were related to their acceptance by the pea aphid. Our data revealed an inverse relationship between level of phenolics and the aphid abundance and its biology on studied alfalfa lines. Larval development of the pea aphid was longer, reproduction period was shorter, and the fecundity was lower on low-saponin lines with higher level of phenolics. There were observed some tendencies in the pea aphid feeding behaviour on these lines: prolonging the probing of the peripheral tissues (epidermis and mesophyll) and shortening the period of phloem sap ingestion. The better hosts for the pea aphid were low-saponin lines with low levels of phenolic compounds.