3 years ago

Certain applied electrical signals during EPG cause negative effects on stylet probing behaviors by adult Lygus lineolaris (Hemiptera: Miridae)

Certain applied electrical signals during EPG cause negative effects on stylet probing behaviors by adult Lygus lineolaris (Hemiptera: Miridae)
This study is the first to fully evaluate whether electrical signals applied to large insects during electropenetrography (EPG; also called electrical penetration graph) negatively affect insect behavior. During EPG, electrical signals are applied to plants, and thus to the gold-wire-tethered insects feeding on them. The insect completes an electrical circuit whose changes in voltage reflect the insect’s stylet probing/penetration behaviors, recorded as waveform output. For nearly 50 years of EPG science, evidence has supported that there are no or negligible effects on tiny insects from applied electricity during EPG. Recently however, EPG studies of large-bodied hemipterans such as heteropterans and sharpshooter leafhoppers have been published. The wider stylet diameters of such large insects cause them to have lower inherent resistances to applied signals compared with smaller insects, conveying more electrical current. The present study asked whether such increased currents would affect insect stylet probing, by comparing Lygus lineolaris behaviors on pin-head cotton squares using an AC-DC electropenetrograph. Effects of AC or DC applied signals were separately examined in two factorial studies, each comparing four input resistor (Ri) levels (106, 107, 108 and 109 Ω) and four applied voltage levels (2, 60, 150 and 250 mV). Results showed that changes in both probing and non-probing behaviors were indeed caused by changing signal type, Ri level, or applied voltage. Negative effects on feeding were numerically greater overall for DC than AC applied signals, perhaps due to muscular tetany from DC; however, AC versus DC could not be statistically tested. Results strongly support the need for flexible Ri and applied voltage levels and types, to tailor instrument settings to the size and special needs of each insect subject. Our findings will facilitate further EPG studies of Lygus spp., such as host plant resistance or insecticidal assays/bioassays to assess mode of action and appropriate dosage. It is hoped that this study will also inform EPG studies of similar, large heteropterans in the future.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022191017303268

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