The feeding behaviour, excretion rate, and life history traits of the cotton-melon aphid, Aphis gossypii (Glover) (Homoptera, Aphididae), were measured on a resistant melon, Cucumis melo L., breeding line, AR 5. The site of resistance detection by the aphids was determined using the electrical penetration graph (EPG) technique. EPG recordings showed that resistance is expressed within the host plant, rather than on its surface, because the time to first stylet penetration was not significantly different between AR 5 and the closely related susceptible breeding line, PMR 5. EPG patterns associated with stylet pathway activities of the aphids were not significantly different between the resistant and susceptible lines. Significant behavioural differences were observed only after stylers contacted phloem sieve elements. On AR 5, the duration of salivation after sieve element puncture (waveform E1) was significantly longer, and the number of aphids showing phloem sap ingestion (waveform E2) was significantly reduced. We conclude that the resistance mechanism producing the effects seen in this study acts within the phloem sieve elements. Monitoring of excretion rates on the two genotypes showed that aphid feeding was delayed and greatly reduced on the resistant genotype. Comparisons of aphid life history traits and population development between host plant genotypes showed that the effects of resistance act throughout aphid development and are highly effective at slowing down population increase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science