The green-aphid Schizaphis graminum (Rond.) is considered the major important pest of wheat plant, for causing severe injuries to the plants in all phenological crop stages, being able even to cause plant death. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the application of silicon on the resistance of wheat plants to this pest. The experiments were carried out under greenhouse and laboratory conditions. The greenhouse experiment was conducted in a completely randomized experimental design with two treatments, consisting on silicon application and a control (without silicon application) with 10 replications and without environmental control. The laboratory bioassays were conducted under controlled environmental conditions (25 ± 1°C temperature; 70 ± 10% RH; and 12h photophase), in a randomized block experimental design, with a sub-divided plot scheme. The silicon, in the form of sodium silicate solution at 0.4% SiO2 was applied in six doses of 50 ml/pot each, at five-day intervals, being the first application performed five days after emergence of the wheat plats. Thirty-five days after plants emergence the following evaluations were performed: a) feeding preference in the laboratory; b) feeding preference in the greenhouse; and c) reproduction and development of the green-aphid. Application of sodium silicate reduced preference, longevity, and production of nymphs of the green-aphids S. graminum, thus conferring a resistance to wheat plants against this insect-pest.
Insecta; silicon; induced resistance; feeding preference