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First report of Smynthurodes betae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on Phelipanche ramosa (Orobanchaceae).

Smynthurodes betae Westwood (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Eriosomatinae: Fordini), also known as bean root aphid, is a host-alternating aphid species with a 2-yr life cycle. Its primary host is Pistacia spp. (Anacardiaceae), on which it creates leaf galls. Secondary hosts occur in many genera and families of plants, principally Asteraceae, Fabaceae, and Solanaceae (Blackman & Eastop 2008). Smynthurodes betae feed on roots, often in ants' nests (Lasius spp.; Hymenoptera: Formicidae). On both primary and secondary hosts it may be a serious pest, inflicting direct harm through induction of persistent leaf galls on Pistacia and by sucking the sap of secondary hosts and causing root deformations. Its occurrence is not restricted to areas of its primary host's occurrence (Mediterranean region); permanently parthenogenetic (anholocyclic) populations also occur in various parts of the Northern Hemisphere that are characterized by moderate climate (Capinera 2001).

Holoparasitic plants of the family Orobanchaceae parasitize the roots of both wild and cultivated hosts. Several species are serious agricultural pests (weeds). One of the most damaging weeds is the branched broomrape, Phelipanche ramosa (L.) Pomel (syn. Orobanche ramosa L.) (Orobanchaceae), an obligate root parasite that causes significant losses in a variety of crops, especially tomatoes and tobacco. It is native to Eurasia and North Africa, but has been introduced in many other areas of the world.

Field surveys conducted in Poland in Sep and Oct 2017 revealed infestations of P. ramosa by larvae and adult apterous females of a secondary-host generation of S. betae in 1 locality in SwiQtokrzyskie Voivodeship, Sandomierz County, near Szewce (50.6166[degrees]N, 21.6166[degrees]E, 145 masl). Here, P. ramosa parasitized roots in a 2-ha area of tomato crops containing about 2,000 shoots. Infestation with 5. betae was observed on the underground parts of broomrape shoots, on both haustoria and tubers, by digging plants from the soil (Fig. 1). Numerous larvae fed on broomrape sap, resulting in weakened or dead shoots (Fig. 1). A single plant was parasitized by over 50 5. betae nymphs, and 10 to 20% of the total population of plants were infested. Distinguishing characteristics of 5. betae include (a) globular body shape; (b) diameter about 2 mm; (c) short appendages; (d) whitish to yellowish color; (e) slightly waxy covering; and (f) the young nymphs are flattened and olive-green (Fig. 2).

DNA was extracted using a DNeasy Blood & Tissue Kit by Qiagen (Venlo, Netherlands) and a standard barcode sequence of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) was amplified using the primers LCO1490 and HC02198. The Neighbor-Joining phylogenetic tree showed that the newly sequenced COI region of S. betae [GenBank accession no. MG581930) was 99% similar to other S. betae sequences found in GenBank (EU701910.1, KR045151.1).

So far, only a few insects have been reported to feed on Orobanche (Orobanchaceae), (e.g., Phytomyza orobanchia Kaltenbach [Diptera: Agromyzidae), which is very promising as a biological control agent of broomrape (Linke et al. 1990; Klein & Kroschel 2002); Smicronyx cyaneus Gyll. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on Orobanche foetida Poir. (Orobanchaceae) (Zermane et al. 2001); and Geoica utricularia (Passerini) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on O. foetida [Boukhris-Bouhachem et al. 2011). Heretofore, Smynthurodes betae has been reported from Orobanche crenata Forsskal, O. variegata Wallr., and P. aegyptiaca (Pers.) Pomel (all Orobanchaceae) [Holman 2009). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of S. betae parasitizing P. ramosa. Further observations on the potential use of this insect as a control method for P. ramosa might be useful, because poor growth and necrosis have been observed in broomrape. Use of natural enemies appears to be a promising approach for suppression of root parasitic plants (Klein & Kroschel 2002; Qasem 2010). Recent observations have shown that the melon aphid (Aphis gossypii Glover [Hemiptera: Aphididae]) may be a biological control method for broomrape, because it was found to completely stop the growth and flowering of broomrape plants (Borkowski & Dyki 2008).


The bean root aphid, Smynthurodes betae Westwood (Aphididae: Eriosomatinae: Fordini) is reported for the first time feeding on haustoria of branched broomrape, Phelipanche ramosa, (Orobanchaceae) a cropparasitic plant. Field surveys conducted in Poland revealed infestations of P. ramosa by nymphs and adult apterous females of a secondary-host generation of S. betae in 1 locality in Sandomierz County, near Szewce, Poland. Numerous nymphs of S. betae fed on broomrape sap, resulting in poor growth or dead shoots, and 10 to 20% of the total population of broomrape was infested. Potential use of this insect as a biological control method for invasive broomrapes requires further study.

Key Words: bean root aphid; branched broomrape; holoparasitic plant; haustoria


El afido de la raiz del frijol, Smynthurodes betae Westwood (Aphididae: Eriosomatinae: Fordini) se reporta por primera vez alimentandose de haustorios de orobanque ramificado, Phelipanche ramosa, (Orobanchaceae) una planta parasita de los cultivos. Los sondeos de campo realizados en Polonia revelaron infestaciones de ninfas y hembras adultas apteras de S. betae que utiliza la planta R ramosa como un hospedero secundario en 1 localidad del condado de Sandomierz, cerca de Szewce, Polonia. Numerosas ninfas de S. betae se alimentaron de savia del orobanque, lo que resulto en un crecimiento deficiente o brotes muertos, con una infestacion del 10 al 20% de la poblacion total del orobanque. El uso potencial de este insecto como un metodo de control biologico para el orobanque invasivo requiere mas estudio.

Palabras Clave: afido o pulgon de la raiz de frijol; orobanque ramificado; planta holoparasitaria; haustoria

References Cited

Blackman RL, Eastop VF. 2008. Aphids on the World's Herbaceous Plants and Shrubs, Vol. 1-2. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, United Kingdom.

Borkowski J, Dyki B. 2008. The branched broomrape [Orobanche ramosa L.) and its control on cultivated plants, mainly on tomatoes. Post^py Nauk Rolniczych 60: 35-41.

Boukhris-Bouhachem S, Youssef SB, Kharrat M. 2011. First report of Geoica utricularia (Hemiptera: Aphididae) population on parasitic broomrape Orobanche foetida. Florida Entomologist 94: 343-344.

Capinera JL. 2001. Handbook of Vegetable Pests. Academic Press, New York, USA.

Holman J. 2009. Host Plant Catalog of Aphids, Palearctic Region. Academy of Science of Czech Republic, Springer.

Klein O, Kroschel J. 2002. Biological control of Orobanche spp. with Phytomyza orobanchia, a review. Biocontrol 47: 245-277.

Linke KH, Vorlaender C, Saxena MC. 1990. Occurrence and impact of Phytomyza orobanchia [Diptera: Agromyzidae] on Orobanche crenata [Orobanchaceae] in Syria. Biocontrol 35: 633-639.

Qasem JR. 2010. Parasitic flowering plants of cultivated plants in Jordan, the present status and possible management. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science 16: 227-239.

Zermane N, Kroschel J, Souissi T, Kharrat M. 2001. First report of Smicronyx cyaneus Gyll. on Orobanche foetida Poiret: investigations in Tunisia. Haustorium (Parasitic Plants Newsletter) 39: 5-6.

Renata Piwowarczyk (1,*), Slawomir Guzikowski (1), Lukasz Depa (2), and Natalia Kaszyca (2)

(1) Jan Kochanowski University, Institute of Biology, Department of Botany, 15 Swi^tokrzyska St. 15, PL-25-406 Kielce, Poland; E-mail: (R. P.); (S. G.)

(2) University of Silesia in Katowice, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, 9 Bankowa St., PL-40-007 Katowice, Poland; E-mail: (L. D.); (N. K.)

(*) Corresponding author; E-mail:

Caption: Fig. 1. General habit of the holoparasitic broomrape Phelipanche ramosa: noninfected plant (A, D), plant weakened byaphids infection (B, E), Smynthurodes betae feeding haustoria of broomrape (also visible are Lasius sp. ants) (C, F).

Caption: Fig. 2. General appearance of adult viviparous female of Smynthurodes betae collected from haustoria of Phelipanche ramosa.

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Author:Piwowarczyk, Renata; Guzikowski, Slawomir; Depa, Lukasz; Kaszyca, Natalia
Publication:Florida Entomologist
Article Type:Report
Date:Jun 1, 2018
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