Processed kaolin affects the probing and settling behavior of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Lividae)
Abstract BACKGROUND Alternative methods that have the potential to reduce the entry of Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), the major citrus pest worldwide, into commercial groves could be a viable approach for huanglongbing management. Kaolin is an aluminum silicate that when sprayed on plants forms a white particle film that interferes with host recognition by the insects. Diaphorina citri orients towards the host plants by visual and olfactory cues. The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of processed kaolin on D. citri settling (no‐choice) and probing behavior [electrical penetration graph (EPG) technique] under laboratory conditions, and to study its host plant finding ability and dispersal under field conditions in the absence and presence of young shoots. RESULTS Under laboratory conditions, kaolin caused an overall reduction of 40% in the number of psyllids settled on treated seedlings; furthermore, the proportion of individuals that were able to reach the phloem was 50% lower on kaolin‐treated plants than on untreated plants. In the field, the plant finding ability of D. citri was disrupted on kaolin‐treated trees (overall reduction of 96%), regardless of the vegetative condition, and psyllid dispersal was slower in kaolin‐treated plots than in the untreated control. CONCLUSION This study clearly demonstrates that processed kaolin interferes negatively with different aspects of the host plant finding ability of D. citri . These findings suggest that processed kaolin has a high potential to reduce huanglongbing primary infection. ⓒ 2018 Society of Chemical Industry
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