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Microclimatic Morphs and Plant Distribution Analysis of Cereal Aphids on Wheat



Ibrar-ul-Hassan Akhtar , Humayun Javed and Abdush Shakoor
 
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ABSTRACT

Research was conducted at the experimental fields of the Crop Science Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad during winter 2003. Inqilab-91 wheat variety was sown under Randomized Complete Block Design with three replicates. Data were collected through visual count method weekly. Overall morphs distribution of all three species of aphid was significantly different during season 2003 on week basis (F12,103 = 26.052, P=0.000; F12,103=9.084, P=0.000; F12,103=9.307, P=0.000). Population of cereal aphid’s nymphs peaked to 38.005±1.904/plant during 11th week in March. Apterous population was peaked to 1.800±0.22/plant during 4th week in January and secondly peaked in 11th week in March (7.264±1.296/plant). Alates were peaked to 3.821±1.04/plant in 4th week in January. Cereal aphid morphs distribution showed highest percentage of nymphs (72.8%) > apterous (16.7%) and alates (10.6%). Cereal aphids preferred the leaf part (72.2%) of plant followed by spike (16.3%), flagleaf (5.9%) and stem (5.5%), respectively.

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Ibrar-ul-Hassan Akhtar , Humayun Javed and Abdush Shakoor , 2004. Microclimatic Morphs and Plant Distribution Analysis of Cereal Aphids on Wheat. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 3: 539-543.

DOI: 10.3923/ajps.2004.539.543

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ajps.2004.539.543

INTRODUCTION

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) being a major cereal occupies an eminent place in the economy of our country[1]. It is describe as king of cereals for centuries and contributes to retain this pride even today. It provides about 60% of the calories and 50% of the protein to the human race[2]. It (Triticum aestivum L.) belongs to the family Poaceace, tribe Hordeae is the most important cereal food grain in the world, provides more protein than any other cereal[3]. It contributes 12.1% to the value added in agriculture and 2.9% to GDP[4].

Aphids are the probably most familiar plant pests commonly known as green fly or black fly and there are only few plants that are not liable to be infested by this persistent and destructive insect pest. Majority of aphids suck sap of the leaves and young shoots causing distortion, stunting and sometime premature leaves fall[5]. Aphids colonies persist throughout the year but are most numerous and troublesome in spring and early summer[6]. Aphids reproduce either sexually or parthenogenetically and occur mainly as winter pest in the world[7].

Rabbinge et al.[8] reported that more important factors that caused yield losses were powdery mildew and cereal aphids. Aphid’s population has been increasing for the last few years on wheat crop and attaining the status of pest in Pakistan[9,10]. In Pakistan, aphid species reported on wheat crop include Sitobion avenue (Fabricius), Schizaphis graminum (Rondani), Metapolophium dirhodum Walker, Macrosiphum granarium (Fabricius), Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus), Rhopalosiphum maidis Fitch, Rhopalosiphum rufiabdominalis Sasaki and Sipha maydia Passirinae[11-14].

Wheat is severely attacked by the wheat aphids which affect the produce adversely[15-17]. Greenbug, S. graminum (Rondani) is monoecious and exhibit life cycle on Graminae[18]. This is prominent aphid species attacking in Pakistan. Bird cherry oat aphid, R. padi (Linnaeus) is heteroecious migrating between its primary host, the Bird cherry, Prunus padus and its Graminaceious host and exhibit holocyclic life cycle between them[19]. Corn leaf Aphid, R. maidis Fitch is bluish-green with black legs, antennae and cornicles. Corn leaf aphid can be found on corn, sorghum, wheat and barley. English Grain Aphid, S. avenae (Fabricius) is bright green aphid, larger than other cereal aphids and has long black legs, antennae and cornicles. Colonies will be present on the leaves before heading and more likely than other cereal aphids to continue feeding in the bracts and reproduce during heading.

To prevent losses by aphids, several control methods have been used. These include cultural, physical, mechanical, biological, chemical and host plant resistance. Control through chemicals has created a number of problems by killing the beneficial insects and resistance development in the pests. In order to combat the increasing resistance in aphids and to reduce the pesticide load in environment, we need to adopt integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.

Abiotic factors affect the physiology and behavior of insects and act as density independent factors which only determine the change in insect population. Abiotic factors can produce physiological effect on insect population in four major ways by modifying activity of endocrine system, survival, development and reproduction[20].

Keeping in view the importance of cereal aphids on wheat, the present research will be aimed on the following objectives;

To understand the populations build up of cereal aphid species under field conditions.
To determine the time and duration at which particular cereal aphid species will infest the wheat.
To determine the distribution of cereal aphids on different plant parts of various wheat varieties.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Present research was conducted to study microclimatic distribution of R. padi L. and R. maidis Fitch and S. graminum (Rondani) as Cereal aphids under field conditions. Wheat crop was sown during crop season in the experimental fields of Crop Science Institute, National Agriculture Research Centre, Islamabad during 2003.

Inqilab-91 variety of wheat was sown in the experimental field under Randomized Complete Block Design. There were three replication of experimental material with total 24 experimental plots. Total experimental area was 608 m2 with dimension of 32 m length and 19 m in width. Size of experimental plot will be 15 m2 with dimension of 10 m length and 1.5 m in width. Each experimental plot was sown with six rows of wheat with 25 cm row to row distance and 15 cm plant to plant distance. There was 1 m treatment and replication path.

Random sampling technique was used for the whole crop research period. Two different sampling techniques were followed for cereal aphid population[5].

Plant based sampling: In plant based sampling, the wheat plants were sampled on different growth stages. This included following sampling stages;

Whole plant based sampling from seedling to tillering stage of wheat.
Tiller based sampling all leaves and whole selected tiller were sampled after tillering of wheat.
Flag leaf based sampling included the sampling of cereal aphids population on the flag leaf of wheat crop. Ten flag leaves per plot were sampled.
Spike based sampling included the sampling of cereal aphids on spikes of wheat crop when at least 50% of plants was having the spike on them and 10 spikes per plot were sampled.

Insect based sampling: In insect based sampling, wheat plant was sampled for morph development. This technique included;

Morph based sampling of cereal aphids included, the sampling of nymphs, alates and apterous adults.
Different cereal aphid species were sampled and considered as single unit for aphid population estimation on wheat crop irrespective of different species.

Data were recorded on weekly basis on random plant selection in all experimental plots. Data collection started after the wheat seedling emergence and continued until the harvesting of wheat crop. Cereal aphid population was recorded on the basis of insect and plant based sampling techniques. Cereal aphids of wheat crop were collected from the adjacent field of wheat crop as wet preservation in 70% alcohol. Aphids were identified by using different taxonomic characters based on identification keys[18,21]. Data were analyzed by using the different statistical computer software (SPSS 10, STATISTICA 5.0 and Minitab 13.2). Descriptive statistical (mean, standard deviation, standard error, sum) and ANOVA was calculated from the data for results interpretations[22].

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Cereal aphids morph distribution was observed weekly on wheat plant. Morphs of aphid include nymph, apterous and alates. All the species revealed certain aphid morphs on wheat plants in field.

Overall morphs distribution of all Cereal aphids were significantly different during season 2003 on week basis (F12,103=26.052, P=0.000; F12,103=19.084, P=0.000; F12,103=9.307, P=0.000). Population of cereal aphid’s nymphs reached 10.012±1.571/plant in 10th week and peaked to 38.005±1.904/plant during 11th week in March. Apterous population was peaked to 1.800±0.22/plant during 4th week in January and secondly peaked in 11th week in March (7.264±1.296/plant). Alates were peaked to 3.821±1.04/plant in 4th week in January (Table 1). Percentage morphs distribution of Cereal aphids were observed different on wheat plants (Fig. 1). Cereal aphid morphs distribution showed highest percentage of nymphs (72.8%) > apterous (16.7%) and alates (10.6%).

According to Salem[23] infestation of adult females of greenbug (especially winged females) was initiated on wheat as soon as seedling emerged.

Table 1: Mean±S.E. of population of cereal aphids morphs on wheat
Image for - Microclimatic Morphs and Plant Distribution Analysis of Cereal Aphids on Wheat

Table 2: Mean±S.E. of numbers of Cereal aphids on different plant parts
Image for - Microclimatic Morphs and Plant Distribution Analysis of Cereal Aphids on Wheat

The winged adult females initiated infestation on wheat seedling at the beginning of the growth season. Nymph population reached the highest counts between mid February to the end of March in both seasons, i.e. during vegetative growth, spike emergence and grain filling. The highest number of nymphs was 504.2 and 158.77 nymphs/tiller for the 1st and 2nd seasons, respectively. Webster and Porter[24] reported that under laboratory conditions, aphid nymphs produced/adult were greatest with greenbug (74.3±1.9) and bird cherry-oat aphid (49.4±2.1) on wheat. Akhtar and Khaliq[5] reported that alates of aphid occur least in number than apterous and nymphs. Nymphal stage was most prominent in aphids than other stages of development. Sekhar and Singh[25] concluded that both adults and nymphs of R. padi reduce the yield of crop by infesting leaves and stem of the crop. Nymphs and adults of cereal aphids gradually disappear as the crop move near maturity[26].

All species showed difference in their plant distribution on wheat. Plant distribution was observed on leaf, stem, flagleaf and spike on plant (Table 2). Cereal aphids population was significantly distributed on all plant parts including leaf, stem, flagleaf and spike on week basis during 2003 (F12,103=14.244, P=0.000; F12,103=12.474, P=0.000; F12,103=6.672, P=0.000; F12,103=12.395, P=0.000), respectively. Peaked population was observed in 3rd week during March 2003. Minimum numbers of cereal aphids were observed on flagleaf (3.35b aphids) and maximum on leaf of plant (32.25e aphids).

Difference was observed in percentage distribution of cereal aphids on different plant parts of wheat (Fig. 2). Cereal aphids preferred the leaf part (72.2%) of plant followed by spike (16.3%), flagleaf (5.9%) and stem (5.5%), respectively.

According to Akhtar and Perveen[27] Schizaphis graminum and Rhopalosiphum padi density per leaf varied from January 9, 1998 to April 14, 1998 and was maximum on February 26, 1998.

Image for - Microclimatic Morphs and Plant Distribution Analysis of Cereal Aphids on Wheat
Fig. 1: Percentage morphs distribution of cereal aphids on wheat

Image for - Microclimatic Morphs and Plant Distribution Analysis of Cereal Aphids on Wheat
Fig. 2: Percentage distribution of cereal aphids on different plant parts of wheat

At the end of February, aphids started shifting to the ears. Maximum aphid population per ear (48.0) was recorded on March 27, 1998. Sattar et al.[28] observed the population reached a peak of 4.545 aphids / leaf during second week of March. With the maturity of the leaves, the aphids shifted to the ears during last week of March and disappeared towards the end of April when the ears were almost dry. The indole alkaloid contents of flag leaves and ears in most resistant lines were higher than those in susceptible lines, especially in ears. The indole alkaloid content of ears was highly correlated to pest resistance, whereas that of flag leaves was only slightly related to pest resistance[29].

The greater aphid densities were recorded on leaves and spike. Aphids were recorded more on leaves and on succulent terminal portion because of soft nature of leaves and maximum food supply towards terminal portion of the plant. Being a sucking pest aphid prefer to insert their stylets at soft surface with maximum food supply[30]. Sekhar and Singh[25] concluded that both adults and nymphs of R. padi reduce the yield of crop by infesting leaves and stem of the crop. Ahmed[31] reported that a large population of aphid transferred to spike as compared to leaves and stem. Maximum abundance of aphids occurred with the emergence of grain ears at the beginning of the flowering period[32]. According to Satter et al.[28] observation aphid multiplied much rapidly during the reproductive growth stage of the plant resulting in higher number of aphids on plant.

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