Stylet Activity of Cowpea Aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae) on Leaf Extracts of Resistant and Susceptible Cowpea Cultivars

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Electrical penetration graph recordings using direct current (DC-EPGs) were used to analyze aspects of the probing behavior of cowpea aphid, Aphis craccivora Koch, on intact plants and on hexane, ethyl acetate, and methanol extracts of leaves of aphid-resistant (ICV-12) and aphid-susceptible (ICV-1) cultivars of cowpea Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. In one set of experiments, recordings were done on plants with or without parafilm wrapping, or on plants painted with raw leaf juice and extracts of the two cultivars. In another study, recordings were done on leaf extracts homogenized in water or in 0.5 M sucrose solution and then placed in parafilm membrane sachets. Electrodes were inserted into soil mix for the experiments on potted plants or into extract fractions and raw juice for the membrane feeding experiments on leaf extracts in parafilm sachets. Waveform signals were recorded from resistance fluctuations from interactions between aphids and substrates, and electromotive forces generated within each preparation. ICV-12 plants with or without parafilm wrapping, and ethyl acetate extracts and raw juice of that cultivar significantly (P ≤ 0.05) reduced stylet penetration behavior. Thus, antixenosis as manifested by disruption of aphid stylet activity on host substrates, appeared to be a governing modality of aphid resistance in ICV-12.

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