Mealybugs cause economic loss to vineyards through physical damage, fouling fruit and leaves with honeydew, and the transmission of viruses. Planococcus ficus is one of several mealybug species in vineyards, and one that causes economic damage over a relatively large global range. To develop novel management tools, host resistance to P. ficus, which has not previously been identified for any grape cultivars, was studied. Ten grape lines (species, cultivars, and rootstocks) were evaluated for P. ficus resistance across two separate potted plant assays. Significant differences were detected among cultivars and rootstocks in the recorded number of P. ficus juveniles, adults, and egg sacs. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay were two of the most favorable grape cultivars for mealybug population growth, whereas rootstocks IAC 572, 10-17A, and RS-3 all demonstrated some level of resistance. Southern fire ant (Solenopsis xyloni) was positively associated with mealybug populations, but did not have a negative effect on the observed presence of other arthropod species including potential predators.
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