Embrapa launches first bed-bug tolerant soybeans
Jul. 4, 2018
According to researcher Carlos Arrabal Arias, Genetic Improvement Program Leader for soybeans at Embrapa, the damage is potentiated by the occurrence of an elevated population of bed bugs, especially Euschistus heros, and by the resistance of these plagues to some insecticides.
“We introduced characteristics of resistance and tolerance to insects on soybean crops to ease the plague management in the field,” said Arias, adding that this is also responsible for the development of genotypes that are resistant to insects. “The genetic resistance is the most economical method used to manage plagues and diseases,” emphasized the scientist.
The search for soybean cultivars with more tolerance during the attack of sucking insects was intensified since 2016 in the experimental field of Embrapa Soja in Londrina, Paraná, when 30 conventional lines and 20 with the technologies RR and Intacta were evaluated. The research work involved the staff that acted in genetic improvement and entomology. The results have shown that the developed plants presented high yields, even when attacked by bed bugs.
Arias reported that while the level of damage defined by the research is currently two bed bugs, the new cultivar is able to support at least double the number of bedbugs without affecting productivity. “Some plants, even in the presence of a high bed bug population, maintained high productivity, while the cultivars are susceptible to attacks of these insects, presenting important losses,” he said.
At Embrapa, the best plants from genetic crossings specific to the resistance of bed bugs were tested in closed cages installed in the experimental field. In this condition, the goal was to evaluate the level of damage caused by bed bugs to soybeans from the presence of zero, to four, eight or 16 bed bugs.
“These essays also proved the results previously obtained,” said Embrapa researcher Clara Beatriz Hoffmann Campo. “The advantage of this tolerance is that the producer can wait for longer to enter with insecticides, which reduces costs and still maintains the presence of natural enemies in the field, favoring control by the integration of tactics of Integrated Plague Management,” explained the researcher.
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