Virulence of Hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) in the Fertile Crescent uri icon

abstract

  • The Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say), is an important insect pest of wheat (Triticum spp.) in North Africa, North America, southern Europe and northern Kazakhstan. Both wheat and this pest are believed to have originated from West Asia in the Fertile Crescent. The virulence of a Hessian fly population from Syria against a set of cultivars carrying different resistance genes, in addition to other effective sources with unknown genes, was determined in the field and laboratory at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) during the 2005/2006 cropping season. Only two resistance genes (H25 and H26) were effective against the Syrian Hessian fly population, making it the most virulent worldwide. This high virulence supports the hypothesis that Hessian fly coevolved with wheat in the Fertile Crescent of West Asia. The ICARDA screening programme is using this Hessian fly population to identify new resistance genes to this pest.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009