Deois flexuosa (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) in Perennial Forage Species (Poaceae): Quali-quantitative Impacts and Tolerance Expression

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This study aimed to characterize the quantitative and qualitative damage caused by Deois flexuosa (Walker) (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) adults in Axonopus catharinensis cv. SCS 315 Catarina and Cynodon dactylon (Tifton 85 and Jiggs cultivars) under different infestation densities and, consequently, the expression of tolerance-type resistance. For this purpose, potted plants were infested with different insect densities (0, 5, 10, 20, and 40 adults m−2). The impact of the infestation levels was assessed in the first growth cycle (10-day coexistence period) and in the regrowth (40 days after the first cut, without infestation) based on crop yield and chemical-bromatological composition as well as on photosynthetic pigments and hydrogen peroxide content. The principal component analysis relating infestation density and chemical-bromatological parameters showed a positive correlation between infestation density of D. flexuosa and the contents of neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and the dry matter (DM). On the other hand, infestation density inversely correlated with the tillering rate, photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a and b, carotenoids), and iron content. In general, the impacts on DM production and chemical-bromatological composition were lower in A. catharinensis cv. SCS 315 Catarina when compared to the Cynodon species, possibly because A. catharinensis has higher tillering capacity and does not show a reduction in the photosynthetic pigments, which may act as compensating factors to D. flexuosa damage. Our results demonstrate that the A. catharinensis cultivar expresses tolerance-type resistance to D. flexuosa and constitutes an interesting option for pasturelands formation and diversification where this spittlebug species is an emerging pest.




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Neotropical Entomology.

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