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Most recent Bagrada bug research updates published on the European journal "Arthropod-Plant Interactions" (January 22, 2014)
Article title:
Feeding damage by Bagrada hilaris (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and impact on growth and chlorophyll content of Brassicaceous plant species

Ta-I Huang, Darcy A. Reed, Thomas M. Perring, and John C. Palumbo

A series of no-choice experiments were conducted to investigate multiple plant responses in six Brassica crops (broccoli, green cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and radish) to feeding by Bagrada bug. The research provides essential information on the impact of Bagrada bug feeding on plant growth and chlorophyll for several commercial cruciferous vegetables. Losses in total leaf area, chlorophyll content, and dry weight in response to short bouts of Bagrada bug feeding suggest a feeding-induced stress response in early developmental stages of crucifer species. Because of the economic significance and large number of acres crucifers grown in the desert southwest, control of this pest during crop establishment is critical. To date, insecticides have been the primary method for Bagrada bug management. Action thresholds have not yet been established for Bagrada bug on these crops largely due to the lack of data describing density/damage relationships between this pest and commercial cole crops. Data generated in this study have provided a better understanding of the impacts of Bagrada bug feeding damage on seedling cruciferous plants and should be useful in developing pest management strategies during crop establishment. Field studies are presently underway to examine which phenological growth stages of seedling broccoli and cauliflower plants (i.e., cotyledon through 6-leaf-stage plants) can tolerate or compensate Bagrada bug feeding damage without suffering economic reductions in yield, quality, and harvest maturity.

To access the journal online, please go to: DOI 10.1007/s11829-014-9289-0.
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For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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