Biological studies of : Tetranychidae) on grapevine cultivarsOligonychus punicae: Tetranychidae) on grapevine cultivars (Acari: Tetranychidae) on grapevine cultivars

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Life cycle, fecundity and longevity of the avocado brown mite, Oligonychus punicae (Hirst), were studied on six grapevine cultivars (Tucupita, Villanueva, Red Globe, Sirah, Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc), under laboratory conditions at 27 ± 2°C, 80 ± 10% RH, and L12:D12 photoperiod. Mite-infested leaves were collected from vineyards, placed in paper bags and taken to the laboratory. A laboratory mite culture was established using the grape cultivar Criolla Negra as host plant. To elucidate potential effects on avocado brown mite parameters, we assessed levels of secondary metabolites, such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins and polyphenols, of leaves of the six grape cultivars, as well as the thickness of the adaxial cuticle-epidermis. The life cycle of O. punicae differed among cultivars with average values ranging between 8.2 days on Tucupita leaves and 9.1 days on Sirah. Relatively high fecundity was found on Tucupita leaves (2.8 eggs/female/day) during 11.4 oviposition days, while low fecundity values occurred on Sirah and Villanueva leaves, with 0.9 and 1.8 eggs/female/day during 7.9 and 6.7 days, respectively. Average longevity of O. punicae females ranged from 8.1 to 17.5 days on Sirah and Sauvignon leaves, respectively. Intrinsic rate of increase (rm) was highest on Sauvignon (0.292) and Tucupita (0.261), and lowest on Sirah (0.146) and Villanueva (0.135). Although significant differences in cuticle-epidermis thickness were detected among the six cultivars, it seemed not to affect mite parameters. Secondary metabolite content also varied between the cultivars. Generally, increasing flavonoid content coincided with decreasing reproductive parameters. The natural plant resistance observed in this study could be useful in the development of an integrated pest management program for mite pests in grape production.

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