Publications by authors named "Christina D DiFonzo"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Presence-Absence Sampling Plans for Stink Bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in the Midwest Region of the United States.

J Econ Entomol 2021 Jun;114(3):1362-1372

Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN, USA.

Stink bugs represent an increasing risk to soybean production in the Midwest region of the United States. The current sampling protocol for stink bugs in this region is tailored for population density estimation and thus is more relevant to research purposes. A practical decision-making framework with more efficient sampling effort for management of herbivorous stink bugs is needed. Therefore, a binomial sequential sampling plan was developed for herbivorous stink bugs in the Midwest region. A total of 146 soybean fields were sampled across 11 states using sweep nets in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The binomial sequential sampling plans were developed using combinations of five tally thresholds at two proportion infested action thresholds to identify those that provided the best sampling outcomes. Final assessment of the operating characteristic curves for each plan indicated that a tally threshold of 3 stink bugs per 25 sweeps, and proportion infested action thresholds of 0.75 and 0.95 corresponding to the action thresholds of 5 and 10 stink bugs per 25 sweeps, provided the optimal balance between highest probability of correct decisions (≥ 99%) and lowest probability of incorrect decisions (≤ 1%). In addition, the average sample size for both plans (18 and 12 sets of 25 sweeps, respectively) was lower than that for the other proposed plans. The binomial sequential sampling plan can reduce the number of sample units required to achieve a management decision, which is important because it can potentially reduce risk/cost of management for stink bugs in soybean in this region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/toab076DOI Listing
June 2021

Geographic Distribution of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1F Toxin Resistance in Western Bean Cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Populations in the United States.

J Econ Entomol 2020 10;113(5):2465-2472

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Entomology, West Central Research and Extension Center, North Platte, NE.

The western bean cutworm (WBC), Striacosta albicosta (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), can be a severe pest of transgenic corn in the western Plains and Great Lakes regions of North America, including on hybrids expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1F toxin. The level and geographic distribution of Cry1F resistance are not completely known. Neonate S. albicosta from 10 locations between Nebraska and New York state were subjected to dose-response trypsin-activated native Cry1F toxin overlay bioassays. In 2017, the mean estimated lethal concentration causing 50% larval mortality (LC50) ranged from 15.1 to 18.4 µg Cry1F cm-2, and were not significantly different among locations. In 2018, LC50 estimates at Scottsbluff, NE (22.0 µg Cry1F cm-2) and Watertown, NY (21.7 µg Cry1F cm-2) were significantly higher when compared to locations in Michigan (15.8 µg Cry1F cm-2). Significantly lower 14-day larval weight among survivors was correlated with higher Cry1F dose. Results from this study indicate that S. albicosta survivorship on purified Bt Cry1F toxin shows a relatively even distribution across the native and range expansion areas where seasonal field infestations typically occur.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/toaa136DOI Listing
October 2020

Parasitism of Adult Pentatomidae by Tachinidae in Soybean in the North Central Region of the United States.

J Insect Sci 2020 May;20(3)

Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.

Stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) are agricultural pests of increasing significance in the North Central Region of the United States, posing a threat to major crops such as soybean. Biological control can reduce the need for insecticides to manage these pests, but the parasitism of stink bugs by Tachinidae (Diptera) is poorly characterized in this region. The objective of this study was to evaluate the rate of parasitism of stink bugs by tachinids over 2 yr from nine states across the North Central Region. Parasitism was assessed by quantifying tachinid eggs on the integument of stink bug adults. Parasitism rates (i.e., percent of adult stink bugs with tachinid eggs) were compared across stink bug species, states, stink bug sex, and years. The mean percent parasitism of stink bugs by tachinids was about 6% across the region and did not differ among stink bug species. Mean percent parasitism was significantly higher in Missouri than in northern and western states. In addition, male stink bugs had significantly higher mean percent parasitism than females. Stink bug species commonly found in soybean in the region showed some parasitism and are therefore potentially vulnerable to oviposition by these parasitoids. This is the first study to characterize the level of parasitism of stink bugs by tachinids across the North Central Region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieaa030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7197946PMC
May 2020

Spatial Patterns and Sequential Sampling Plans for Estimating Densities of Stink Bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in Soybean in the North Central Region of the United States.

J Econ Entomol 2019 08;112(4):1732-1740

Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN.

Stink bugs are an emerging threat to soybean (Fabales: Fabaceae) in the North Central Region of the United States. Consequently, region-specific scouting recommendations for stink bugs are needed. The aim of this study was to characterize the spatial pattern and to develop sampling plans to estimate stink bug population density in soybean fields. In 2016 and 2017, 125 fields distributed across nine states were sampled using sweep nets. Regression analyses were used to determine the effects of stink bug species [Chinavia hilaris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and Euschistus spp. (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)], life stages (nymphs and adults), and field locations (edge and interior) on spatial pattern as represented by variance-mean relationships. Results showed that stink bugs were aggregated. Sequential sampling plans were developed for each combination of species, life stage, and location and for all the data combined. Results for required sample size showed that an average of 40-42 sample units (sets of 25 sweeps) would be necessary to achieve a precision of 0.25 for stink bug densities commonly encountered across the region. However, based on the observed geographic gradient of stink bug densities, more practical sample sizes (5-10 sample units) may be sufficient in states in the southeastern part of the region, whereas impractical sample sizes (>100 sample units) may be required in the northwestern part of the region. Our findings provide research-based sampling recommendations for estimating densities of these emerging pests in soybean.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz100DOI Listing
August 2019

Community Composition, Abundance, and Phenology of Stink Bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in Soybean in the North Central Region of the United States.

J Econ Entomol 2019 08;112(4):1722-1731

Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN.

Stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) are an increasing threat to soybean (Fabales: Fabaceae) production in the North Central Region of the United States, which accounts for 80% of the country's total soybean production. Characterization of the stink bug community is essential for development of management programs for these pests. However, the composition of the stink bug community in the region is not well defined. This study aimed to address this gap with a 2-yr, 9-state survey. Specifically, we characterized the relative abundance, richness, and diversity of taxa in this community, and assessed phenological differences in abundance of herbivorous and predatory stink bugs. Overall, the stink bug community was dominated by Euschistus spp. (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) and Chinavia hilaris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Euschistus variolarius (Palisot de Beauvois) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), C. hilaris and Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) were more abundant in the northwestern, southeastern and eastern parts, respectively, of the North Central Region of the United States. Economically significant infestations of herbivorous species occurred in fields in southern parts of the region. Species richness differed across states, while diversity was the same across the region. Herbivorous and predatory species were more abundant during later soybean growth stages. Our results represent the first regional characterization of the stink bug community in soybean fields and will be fundamental for the development of state- and region-specific management programs for these pests in the North Central Region of the United States.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz099DOI Listing
August 2019

Probability of cost-effective management of soybean aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in North America.

J Econ Entomol 2009 Dec;102(6):2101-8

Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.

Soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae), is one of the most damaging pests of soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, in the midwestern United States and Canada. We compared three soybean aphid management techniques in three midwestern states (Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota) for a 3-yr period (2005-2007). Management techniques included an untreated control, an insecticidal seed treatment, an insecticide fungicide tank-mix applied at flowering (i.e., a prophylactic treatment), and an integrated pest management (IPM) treatment (i.e., an insecticide applied based on a weekly scouting and an economic threshold). In 2005 and 2007, multiple locations experienced aphid population levels that exceeded the economic threshold, resulting in the application of the IPM treatment. Regardless of the timing of the application, all insecticide treatments reduced aphid populations compared with the untreated, and all treatments protected yield as compared with the untreated. Treatment efficacy and cost data were combined to compute the probability of a positive economic return. The IPM treatment had the highest probability of cost effectiveness, compared with the prophylactic tank-mix of fungicide and insecticide. The probability of surpassing the gain threshold was highest in the IPM treatment, regardless of the scouting cost assigned to the treatment (ranging from $0.00 to $19.76/ha). Our study further confirms that a single insecticide application can enhance the profitability of soybean production at risk of a soybean aphid outbreak if used within an IPM based system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/029.102.0613DOI Listing
December 2009

Suppression of soybean aphid by generalist predators results in a trophic cascade in soybeans.

Ecol Appl 2007 Mar;17(2):441-51

Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824-1311, USA.

Top-down regulation of herbivores in terrestrial ecosystems is pervasive and can lead to trophic cascades that release plants from herbivory. Due to their relatively simplified food webs, agroecosystems may be particularly prone to trophic cascades, a rationale that underlies biological control. However, theoretical and empirical studies show that, within multiple enemy assemblages, intraguild predation (IGP) may lead to a disruption of top-down control by predators. We conducted a factorial field study to test the separate and combined effects of predators and parasitoids in a system with asymmetric IGP. Specifically we combined ambient levels of generalist predators (mainly Coccinellidae) of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura, with controlled releases of the native parasitoid Lysiphlebus testaceipes (Cresson) and measured their impact on aphid population growth and soybean biomass and yield. We found that generalist predators provided strong, season-long aphid suppression, which resulted in a trophic cascade that doubled soybean biomass and yield. However, contrary to our expectations, L. testaceipes provided minor aphid suppression and only when predators were excluded, which resulted in nonadditive effects when both groups were combined. We found direct and indirect evidence of IGP, but because percentage parasitism did not differ between predator exclusion and ambient predator treatments, we concluded that IGP did not disrupt parasitism during this study. Our results support theoretical predictions that intraguild predators which also provide strong herbivore suppression do not disrupt top-down control of herbivores.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/06-0284DOI Listing
March 2007

Soil potassium deficiency affects soybean phloem nitrogen and soybean aphid populations.

Environ Entomol 2007 Feb;36(1):26-33

Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, 243 Natural Science, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

The soybean aphid is an invasive pest in the midwest United States, with frequent population outbreaks. Previous work has shown that aphid population densities are higher on potassium-deficient soybean than on healthy soybean. The experiments reported here test the hypotheses that the potassium nutrition of the host plant affects the forms of phloem nitrogen available to soybean aphids, and subsequently, their abundance. In field surveys and an exclusion cage study when aphid populations were high, soybean plants with potassium deficiency symptoms had a higher density of soybean aphids than plants without deficiency symptoms. In clip cage experiments, this effect was caused by earlier aphid reproduction and higher numbers of aphid nymphs per mother on plants growing in lower-potassium soil. In phloem exudation samples, the percentage of asparagine, an important amino acid for aphid nutrition, increased with decreasing soil potassium, perhaps because of potassium's role in the nitrogen use of the plant. Taken together, these results show that soybean potassium deficiency can lead to higher populations of soybean aphid through a bottom-up effect. A possible mechanism for this relationship is that soybean potassium deficiency improves the nitrogen nutrition of these N-limited insects. By releasing these herbivores from N limitation, host plant potassium deficiency may allow soybean aphid populations to reach higher levels more rapidly in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0046-225X(2007)36[26:SPDASP]2.0.CO;2DOI Listing
February 2007