Comparison of the potential rate of population increase of brown and green color morphs of Sitobion avenae (Homoptera: Aphididae) on barley infected and uninfected with Barley yellow dwarf virus.
Life tables of brown and green color morphs of the English grain aphid, Sitobion avenae (Fabricius) reared on barley under laboratory conditions at 20±1°C, 65%±5% relative humidity and a photoperiod of 16:8 h (L:D) were compared. The plants were either: (i) infected with the Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV); (ii) not infected with virus but previously infested with aphids; or (iii) healthy barley plants, which were not previously infested with aphids. Generally, both color morphs of S. avenae performed significantly better when fed on BYDV-infected plants than on plants that were virus free but had either not been or had been previously infested with aphids. Furthermore, when fed on BYDV-infected plants, green S. avenae developed significantly faster and had a significantly shorter reproductive period than the brown color morph. There were no significant differences in this respect between the two color morphs of S. avenae when they were reared on virus-free plants that either had been or not been previously infested with aphids. These results indicate that barley infected with BYDV is a more favorable host plant than uninfected barley for both the color morphs of S. avenae tested, particularly the green color morph.