Imidacloprid application, as a seed coating agent on oilseed rape, is recommended to control mustard aphid, Lipaphis erysimi
(Kaltenbach) (Hemiptera: Aphididae). In this study, responses of L. erysimi
were investigated, including survival, feeding behavior, and detoxifying enzymes, on the oilseed rape seedlings grown from seeds coated with imidacloprid at rates of 6, 12, or 18 g active ingredient (a.i.)/kg seed. The results showed that the aphids’ survival rate, together with that of the progeny of the survivors, on the seed-treated seedlings significantly decreased. This indicates that the aphid population in fields can be suppressed effectively. The electrical penetration graph (EPG) technique was used to record aphid feeding behaviors on two-, four-, and six-leaf stages of oilseed rape seedlings that had been seed-coated with imidacloprid, and individual responses were revealed during the aphid feeding behavior. On the plants at the two-leaf stage, aphid feeding behaviors were influenced, showing decreased frequency of stylet penetration into the leaf (probe) or into the mesophyll cells (potential drops, pds for short), and shortened duration of stylet event in the leaf (probe) or in the phloem. On the plants at the four- and six-leaf stages, these impacts of imidacloprid were weakened; however, the saliva secretion duration in phloem was shortened to less than 5 min in all imidacloprid treatments. The activity of mixed-function oxidase in aphids maintained on the treated seedlings with imidacloprid was elevated. In conclusion, imidacloprid could be used as a seed coating agent for aphid control, but chemical resistance in aphids should not be ignored.
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