Biotypes of Hessian fly (Dipt., Cecidomyiidae) in Morocco
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Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say), is the most important insect pest of wheat in Morocco, where host plant resistance has been used successfully for control. Our objective was to determine the frequency of Hessian fly virulence on H5, H13 and H22 resistance genes. Five Hessian fly populations from the principal cereal-growing regions in Morocco were studied. The variability in percentage of susceptible plants across Hessian fly populations was highly significant (P < 0.01), indicating differences in virulence frequencies. Plants with the H13 gene had the lowest percentage of susceptible plants, 1.77 and 1.51%, when infested with Hessian flies from Fes and Marchouch, respectively. A low level of virulence to H22 was detected in Fes, Abda and Marchouch populations, 1.87, 1.54 and 1.99% susceptible plants, respectively. The level of virulence to H5 was low in all the five populations. The Beni Mellal population gave the highest percentage of susceptible plants carrying H13 and H22 genes, 6.43 and 7.28%, respectively. The size of live larvae on susceptible plants of the three cultivars carrying H5, H13 and H22 was similar to that of the susceptible check, indicating that a true virulence (biotype) is developing in Hessian fly populations in Morocco. Thus, continuous monitoring of the development of Hessian fly biotypes is essential for optimal deployment of resistance genes.
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