Genetic transfer of a twospotted spider mite (Acari: tetranychidae) repellent in tomato hybrids

John C. Snyder, Richard R. Thacker, Xuemei Zhang

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9 Scopus citations


Lycopersicon hirsutum Dunal is very resistant to arthropod herbivory, and research on causes of resistance has often implicated trichomes and their secretions. To better understand relationships among resistance, repellency, and 2,3-dihydrofarnesoic acid, a trichome-borne sesquiterpenoid spider mite repellent, two tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Miller, varieties were interbred with a highly resistant, spider mite repellent accession (LA1363) of L. hirsutum. Backcross and F2 generations were produced with each tomato variety. Whole leaves of 99 hybrids were bioassayed with twospotted spider mites, Tetranychus urticae Koch, allowing selection of six hybrids (two susceptible and four resistant) for each generation of each family. When these 24 hybrids were characterized for spider mite repellency with thumbtack bioassays, two hybrids had repellent leaflets, demonstrating that repellency was genetically transferred to interspecific tomato hybrids. Leaflet washes containing trichome secretions from each of three hybrids, including the two having repellent leaflets, were repellent in bridge bioassays. For the two hybrids having repellent leaflets and leaflet washes, removal of trichome secretions by dipping leaflets in methanol eliminated leaflet repellency. 2,3-Dihydrofarnesoic acid was present in trichome secretions of the hybrids having leaflet repellency, and it also was present in secretions of other hybrids, indicating that its presence is essential, but not sufficient for leaflet repellency. With regard to resistance, 16 of the hybrids tested had been identified as resistant in a whole leaf bioassay, but only two had repellent leaflets, indicating that other mechanisms of resistance are present in the resistant L. hirsutum parent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1710-1716
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Antixenosis
  • Lycopersicon
  • Plant breeding
  • Sesquiterpenoid
  • Trichome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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