Effects of aphid feeding and associated virus injury on grain crops in Australia.
We review yield effects caused by aphid feeding and associated virus injury to cereal, oilseed and pulse crops, and estimate the potential economic loss caused by aphids in Australia. Potential yield reduction due to aphids was determined through a survey of quantitative data from experiments that assessed aphids' effect on grain yield. In cereals, four aphids caused damage; on barley, feeding injury caused by Rhopalosiphum padi+Rhopalosiphum maidis was most damaging in terms of yield reduction (25.5%) with an economic loss of $19/ha. Barley yellow dwarf virus transmitted by R. padi+Sitobion miscanthi was more damaging than direct feeding, causing a yield reduction of 39% and economic loss of $21/ha for wheat. On canola, beet western yellow virus transmitted by Myzus persicae caused the highest yield reduction of 34% and economic loss of $115/ha, although this was measured through artificial inoculations. Feeding injury was high in Brevicoryne brassicae which caused an average yield reduction of 34% and associated economic loss of $88.5/ha, while Lipaphis erysimi and M. persicae had negligible economic effects but more data are needed. On pulses, the most economically damaging (unidentified) aphids feeding on lupins caused a yield reduction of 43% and economic loss of $24/ha. The aphids M. persicae+Aphis craccivora+Acyrthosiphon kondoi reduced lupin yields by 13% and economic returns by $7.40/ha. On field peas, a 14% reduction in yield was caused by transmitted viruses such as pea seed-borne mosaic virus which caused economic losses of $20.50/ha. In total, feeding and virus injuries resulted in potential economic costs of $241 and $482 million/year, respectively. Although this review provides estimates of potential yield and economic losses due to aphids, few data were available for some crops, aphid species or regions (e.g. oats). Nevertheless, economic costs associated with aphids appear substantial.