Relationship between invasive brown marmorated stink bug and fumonisin contamination of field corn in the Mid-Atlantic
J. OPOKU (1), H. Mehl (2), N. Kleczewski (3), K. Hamby (4); (1) VIRGINIA TECH TAREC, U.S.A.; (2) Virginia Tech Tidewater AREC, U.S.A.; (3) University of Delaware, U.S.A., (4) University of Maryland, College Park, MD, U.S.A.
Invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) feeding damages a variety of crops including field corn. In 2013, a survey of BMSB-infested corn fields in VA indicated BMSB damage is correlated with fumonisin contamination. The objective of the current study was to quantify the relationship between BMSB injury and fumonisin contamination in field corn. Field trials were conducted in DE, MD, and VA in 2015. Ears were covered with mesh bags at tasseling to prevent insect damage. BMSB treatments were 0 or 4 adults applied to bagged ears, and Fusarium treatments were water or a spore suspension of F. verticillioides applied to ears at the R3 growth stage. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block factorial design. At maturity, ears were harvested and stink bug damage, Fusarium infection, and fumonisin concentrations were assessed. Stink bug damage and Fusarium infection were significantly different among locations, but there was not a location by treatment interaction. Treatments with BMSB had more damaged kernels compared to those without BMSB. Both BMSB and Fusarium treatments increased Fusarium infection of kernels. However, only the BMSB treatment influenced fumonisin concentrations. Results suggest BMSB increases Fusarium infection and fumonisin contamination in field corn. Further studies are needed to understand mechanisms by which BMSB increases fumonisins, and to develop management strategies to mitigate impacts of BMSB on field corn in the region.