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J Econ Entomol. 2010 Dec;103(6):2229-35.

Virulence in Hessian fly (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) field collections from the southeastern United States to 21 resistance genes in wheat.

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Crop Production and Pest Control Research Unit, USDA-ARS, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


Genetic resistance in wheat, Triticum aestivum L., is the most efficacious method for control of Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor (Say) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). However, because of the appearance of new genotypes (biotypes) in response to deployment of resistance, field collections of Hessian fly need to be evaluated on a regular basis to provide breeders and producers information on the efficacy of resistance (R) genes with respect to the genotype composition of Hessian fly in regional areas. We report here on the efficacy of 21 R genes in wheat to field collections of Hessian fly from the southeastern United States. Results documented that of the 21 R genes evaluated only five would provide effective protection of wheat from Hessian fly in the southeastern United States. These genes were H12, H18, H24, H25, and H26. Although not all of the 33 identified R genes were evaluated in the current study, these results indicate that identified genetic resistance to protect wheat from Hessian attack in the southeastern United States is a limited resource. Historically, R genes for Hessian fly resistance in wheat have been deployed as single gene releases. Although this strategy has been successful in the past, we recommend that in the future deployment of combinations of highly effective previously undeployed genes, such as H24 and H26, be considered. Our study also highlights the need to identify new and effective sources of resistance in wheat to Hessian fly if genetic resistance is to continue as a viable option for protection of wheat in the southeastern United States.

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