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Keywords:

  • Azadirachtin;
  • systemic;
  • aphid;
  • Myzus persicae;
  • antifeedant

Abstract

The electrical penetration graph (EPG) method was used to analyse the feeding behaviour of apterous, adult Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Homoptera: Aphididae) on Nicotiana clevelandii (Gray) seedlings, treated systemically with azadirachtin. A preliminary experiment showed that the effects of tethering aphids for EPG recording were minimal. The percentage of the 9 h recording period devoted to non-penetration activities, and to stylet pathway patterns increased as the azadirachtin concentration in the root treatment increased. The number of probes initiated, and the numbers of sieve tube penetrations also increased with increased azadirachtin concentration. The mean time elapsing between the initiation of the first probe to reach a sieve element and contact with this tissue was not significantly altered by azadirachtin treatment. However, azadirachtin treatment significantly reduced the percentage of probes that reached sieve elements and increased non-penetration activity before and after the first period of ingestion from the sieve elements. The percentage of the recording period spent in the EPG pattern associated with sieve tube penetration was significantly reduced by an azadirachtin concentration of 300 ppm, and the duration of each individual penetration was significantly reduced by an azadirachtin concentration of 100 ppm. When the total EPG was split into 3 h periods, significant interactions were seen between time period and azadirachtin concentration for the duration of non-penetration, pathway, and sieve tube penetration patterns.