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      Epicuticular Wax Rice Mutants Show Reduced Resistance to Rice Water Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and Fall Armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)


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          Plant structural traits can act as barriers for herbivore attachment, feeding, and oviposition. In particular, epicuticular waxes (EWs) on the aerial surfaces of many land plants offer protection from biotic and abiotic stresses. In rice ( Oryza sativa L.), mutations that reduce EWs have been previously reported. However, whether such mutations affect rice water weevil ( Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuschel) and fall armyworm ( Spodoptera frugiperda Smith) performance has not been investigated yet. These pests cause significant economic problems in important rice-producing areas of the United States. The aim of our study was to characterize the EWs of EW mutants and wild-type rice plants by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and compare the resistance of mutant and wild-type plants against rice water weevil and fall armyworm. We hypothesized that mutants with reduced EWs would have weaker resistance to pests than wild-type plants. Three mutant lines (6-1A, 7-17A, and 11-39A) and their wild-type parent (cv. ‘Sabine’) were used to test this hypothesis. Levels of EWs were significantly lower in mutant lines than in the wild-type, and qualitative differences in EW composition were also observed. Reduction in EWs significantly affected performance of insects in experiments conducted under greenhouse conditions. Experiments with rice water weevils were conducted in arenas in which females were given a choice of the mutants and the wild-type for oviposition. Number of first instars emerging from the three EW mutants (an indication of oviposition preference) was higher on the three EW mutants than on wild-type plants with normal wax levels. Similarly, in no-choice experiments using whole plants or detached leaves, weight gains of armyworms on leaves were higher on the mutant lines than on the wild-type. These results indicate that EW traits are involved in rice resistance to weevils and armyworms. Understanding the plant traits that contribute to resistance to rice pests will be helpful for the development of resistant varieties for reducing pest insect damage.

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          Plant structural traits and their role in anti-herbivore defence

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            Current trends in the evolutionary ecology of plant defence

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              Effects of Plant Epicuticular Lipids on Insect Herbivores


                Author and article information

                Role: Subject Editor
                Environ Entomol
                Environ Entomol
                Environmental Entomology
                Oxford University Press (US )
                August 2021
                26 April 2021
                26 April 2021
                : 50
                : 4
                : 948-957
                [1 ]Department of Entomology, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center , Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
                [2 ]United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit , Davis, CA 95616, USA
                [3 ]Department of Plant Sciences, University of California , Davis, CA 95616, USA
                Author notes
                Corresponding author, e-mail: linabernaola@ 123456gmail.com
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 25 January 2021
                : 26 March 2021
                Page count
                Pages: 10
                Funded by: Director of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station;
                Award ID: 2020-234-34835
                Funded by: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, DOI 10.13039/100005825;
                Award ID: 1011556
                Funded by: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service Research;
                Award ID: 2032-21000-023-00D
                Plant - Insect Interactions

                plant–insect interactions,wax mutants,rice,epicuticular wax,host plant resistance


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