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Ciência Rural

On-line version ISSN 1678-4596


BUENO, Adeney de Freitas et al. Serpentine leafminer (Liriomyza trifolii) on potato (Solanum tuberosum): field observations and plant photosynthetic responses to injury. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2007, vol.37, n.6, pp.1510-1517. ISSN 1678-4596.

Serpentine leafminers, Liriomyza spp. (Diptera: Agromyzidae), are polyphagous insects that feed on numerous crops worldwide including potato. Recently, leafminer larvae (Liriomyza trifolii) have become an economically important pest of potato. The larvae eat the mesophyll of leaflets leaving long winding tunnels inside the leaflets. The photosynthetic effects of larval tunneling on the remaining leaf tissue are unknown. In 2003, physiological responses of potato to leafminer, L. trifolii were evaluated in Kearney, Nebraska, USA. The leaflets were examined 7 and 14 days post infestation for leaf area injury, photosynthetic rates and fluorescence. Leafminers caused up to 13% leaf area loss due to leafminer injury with no effect on the photosynthetic rates of the remaining leaf tissue thus having similar effects as other gross tissue removers. However, fluorescence measures revealed changes in the photosynthetic efficiency and depend of the type of injury, it may lead to early leaf senescence. Field monitoring of L. trifolii infestations showed that treatments with abamectin were effective in reducing leafminer numbers and had no immediate effect on beneficial parasitoid from Eulophidae family suggesting that abamectin is a good option for chemical control.

Keywords : plant-insect interaction; chemical control; photosynthesis.

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