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Bull Entomol Res. 2004 Dec;94(6):569-75.

Sex ratios of Sitodiplosis mosellana (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae): implications for pest management in wheat (Poaceae).

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Cereal Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 195 Dafoe Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3T 2M9.


Sex ratios of populations of the wheat midge Sitodiplosis mosellana Gehin, developing on wheat Triticum aestivum L., were determined at reproduction, adult emergence, and dispersal. The patterns of sex ratio through the life cycle of S. mosellana result from: (i) a genetic mechanism that causes all or nearly all of the progeny of individual females to be a single sex, with an overall sex ratio that is slightly biased at 54-57% females; (ii) a differential mortality during diapause that increases the sex ratio to 60-65% females; (iii) mating which occurs near the emergence site followed by female dispersal which causes the post-dispersal sex ratio to rise to nearly 100% females; and (iv) oviposition which spreads eggs among different plants and assures that the next generation has a local sex ratio close to the population average. These changes in sex ratio through the life cycle have implications for using crop resistance or pheromones to manage S. mosellana, because mating takes place quickly near emergence sites, and because mated females but not males disperse from emergence sites to oviposition sites. Crop refuges used to protect resistance genes against the evolution of virulence by S. mosellana must be interspersed to prevent assortative mating that would occur in separate blocks of resistant and susceptible plants. Monitoring or mating disruption using a pheromone would be ineffective when wheat is grown in rotation with a non-host crop.

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