The use of aphid-resistant soybean varieties containing Rag genes can provide an effective pest management strategy against soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura). However, the compatibility between soybean containing Rag genes and the management of other potential soybean pests (i.e., nontarget herbivores) is poorly understood. Therefore, our goal was to (1) assess the efficacy of pyramided (Rag1+Rag2) aphid-resistant soybean for reduction of soybean aphid populations, and (2) determine if aphid-resistant soybean affects populations of nontarget herbivores under field conditions. To accomplish these goals, field experiments were conducted in southeast Minnesota from 2015 to 2017 for a total of five site-years using whole-plant counts to assess soybean aphid densities and sweep-net sampling to estimate nontarget herbivore densities in plots of near-isoline soybean with Rag1+Rag2 (i.e., resistant) or no Rag genes (i.e., susceptible). Plant genotype (i.e., resistant or susceptible) affected seasonal abundance of soybean aphid, with fewer soybean aphids on aphid-resistant than susceptible soybean. Furthermore, plant genotype affected seasonal abundance of bean leaf beetle (Cerotoma trifurcata Forster), green cloverworm (Hypena scabra Fabricius), and potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae Harris). Aphid-resistant soybean was associated with increased seasonal abundance of bean leaf beetle and reduced seasonal abundance of potato leafhopper and green cloverworm. The abundance of these herbivores was also associated with seasonal abundance of soybean aphid as a covariate. Results presented here confirm the efficacy of aphid-resistant soybean with Rag1+Rag2 against soybean aphid and show that aphid-resistant soybean can influence the seasonal abundance of nontarget herbivores in soybean. However, the magnitude of impacts of aphid-resistant soybean on nontarget herbivores was relatively small and likely of little-to-no agronomic significance, which suggests compatibility of aphid-resistant soybean with management of other potential pests.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are thankful to James Menger, Daniela Pezzini, Claire Lotzer, Pheylan Anderson, Rafael Carlesso Aita, Julia Strautman, Traci Eicholz, Zach Marston, and Hailey Shanovich for their valuable assistance in the field, and to William Hutchison and Seth Naeve for providing reviews of earlier versions of this manuscript. In addition, we are thankful to our funding sources: Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
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- Host-plant resistance
- Soybean aphid