Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Predatory bugs can save cornfields

Date:
December 1, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
One of the worst pests of corn in the world, the corn rootworm, may owe its worldwide success partly to its larvae's nasty, sticky blood, according to researchers.

A larva of western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera).
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

One of the worst pests of corn in the world, the corn rootworm, may owe its worldwide success partly to its larvae's nasty, sticky blood.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist Jonathan G. Lundgren and his colleagues discovered this recently, working with CABI researchers in Delémont, Switzerland, and Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary. The discovery could lead to development of ways to overcome these defenses as part of sustainable, ecologically based pest management methods.

Lundgren works at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Brookings, S.D. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security. CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that researches natural ways of controlling pests, and they have been helping to lead the effort against corn rootworm's European invasion.

The experiments with CABI are the latest in Lundgren's research on corn rootworm predators. Although rootworms have been a major pest for 100 years, this is remarkably the first comprehensive research program on corn rootworm predators to be conducted.

In lab and field experiments in the United States and abroad, the rootworm larvae's sticky blood caused certain species of predators to quickly back off. The foul-tasting blood coagulated in the predators' mouths, temporarily gluing them shut. Predators repelled by the rootworm larvae's blood included ground beetles and ants.

Wolf spiders, on the other hand, had a hearty appetite for rootworms. When insects such as spiders suck fluids from prey rather than chewing their victims, they may be able to bypass the ability of the blood to stick and linger.

The experiments with CABI involved two years of lab and field experiments, begun in 2007, in the United States and Hungary. In the Brookings laboratory, Lundgren and colleagues offered hungry predators a smorgasbord of rootworm larvae and pupae. In all, they have tested 10 different predator species from Europe and North America.

The results have led Lundgren to research managing crop fields to encourage large and diverse predator populations.

Papers on this research have been published recently in Biocontrol Science and Technology, Ecological Applications, and the Journal of Applied Entomology. Also, a paper is scheduled for publication in Environmental Entomology.

Read more about the research in the November/December 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/nov10/predators1110.htm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Don Comis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Predatory bugs can save cornfields." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130172043.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, December 1). Predatory bugs can save cornfields. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130172043.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Predatory bugs can save cornfields." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101130172043.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) — The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) — A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins