Potential Trap Crop for Asian Citrus Psyllid

Ernie NeffHLB Management

trap crop
Asian citrus psyllids on Cordia myxa

Pakistan entomologist Muhammad Arshad reported on work that opens the possibility of further studies to determine the potential of Cordia myxa as a trap crop to manage Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and, ultimately, to reduce HLB disease. C. myxa, also known as Assyrian plum or lasura, is a broad-leaved deciduous fruit tree. In trap cropping, plants are used to attract insects or other organisms away from nearby important economic crops.

Arshad is a researcher at the University of  Sargodha, Pakistan. Following are some key points in an article he wrote in Entomology Today:  

  • “The host range of ACP includes more than 25 species in the Rutaceae family (order: Sapindales), and it is well-established on almost all citrus cultivars throughout citrus producing countries. However, ACP may feed on a wide range of alternative host plants other than Rutaceae. While some of these alternative host plants may serve only as a temporary or partial host and may not be suitable for reproduction and growth of insects, these plants are important because they allow the insects to survive in the absence of their preferred hosts.”
  • “In March 2019, a new plant was added to this list of alternate hosts, when my colleagues Muhammad Irfan Ullah, Naciye Sena Çağatay, Fatma Dikmen, Asad Abdullah and Muhammad Afzal and I reported ACP feeding on Cordia myxa plants in the south region of the state of Punjab, Pakistan.”
  • “The development of alternative control strategies, such as trap cropping, will require a thorough understanding of ACP ecology and behavior in relation to the findings of host plants.”
  • “To begin evaluating C. myxa’s role as a host plant for ACP, my colleagues and I studied whether ACP found on C. myxa carried Candidatus Liberibactor asiaticus (CLas), the results of which we published in March 2020 in the Journal of Economic Entomology. We found that, although ACP can be infected with CLas on C. myxa, bacterial levels were lower in ACP on C. myxa than on citrus cultivars, probably due to the lower ACP reproduction rates in C. myxa.”
  • “Although the bacteria were detected in ACP on C. myxa, there is need to study the CLas acquisition and transmission efficiency of ACP in C. myxa plant. If the transmission efficiency is lower in C. myxa plant, that means it would be a good host for ACP but a poor host for CLas, so it may be used as a potential trap crop to attract ACP.”

Source: Entomology Today

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