Infestation of froghopper nymphs changes the amounts of total phenolics in sugarcane

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Universidade de São Paulo (USP)


The increased rate of sugarcane harvest without previous burn has provided a very favorable environment to the froghopper Mahanarva fimbriolota (Stal, 1854), with high Moisture and low temperature variation. Few works have Studied the response of sugarcane to this pest, so little is known about resistant cultivars. Plant phenolics are widely studied compounds because of their known antifierbivore effect. This research aims to determine if the attack of M.fimbriolata nymphs stimulates the acccumulation of total phenolics in sugarcane. The experiment was carried Out in greenhouse and arranged in completely randomized design, in a 3 x 2 x 4 factorial with three replications. Second instar nymphs of M. fimbriolota were infested at the following rates: control, 2-4 and 4-8 nymphs per pot (first-second infestations, respectively). Pots were covered with nylon net and monitored daily to isolate the effect of leaf Sucking adults. Leaf and root samples were collected and kept frozen in liquid nitrogen until analyses. Infested plants showed higher levels of phenolics in both root and leaf tissues. In roots, the cultivar SP80-1816 accumulated more phenolic compounds in response to the infestation of M. fimbriolata. on the other hand, higher levels were found in leaves and roots of control plants of SP86-42, which might be an indication of a non-preference mechanism. The increase of total phenolics in sugarcane infested with root-sucking froghopper nymphs does not seem to be useful to detect the resistance to this pest.



Saccharum spp., phenolic compounds, secondary metabolism, plant-insect interaction

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Scientia Agricola. Piracicaba: Univ Sao Paolo, v. 62, n. 6, p. 543-546, 2005.