Cotton fleahopper

Pseudatomoscelis seriatus

Cotton fleahopper (Pseudatomoscelis seriatus) (Hemiptera: Miridae) is a piercing-sucking insect that has emerged as a major pest in the Texas cotton industry over the past decade. Cotton fleahopper feeding results in square abscission and damage and subsequently, yield loss. Current control measures for cotton fleahopper are predominated by chemical pesticides. Variation in resistance to the cotton fleahopper has previously been noted in cotton cultivars (G. hirsutum), but the mechanism of resistance remains largely unknown. This project focuses on breeding towards increased resistance to cotton fleahoppers in two susceptible, high yielding lines by backcrossing with genotypes previously identified as potentially resistant. Screening efforts, thus far, indicate that plant trichome density plays an important role in conferring resistance, as measured by square retention under cotton fleahopper pressure. Efforts are currently underway examine variations in pubescence and trichome morphology that may influence cotton fleahopper feeding.

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