Previous View
APSnet Home
Phytopathology Home


Attractiveness of Diseased Red Clover Roots to the Clover Root Borer. K. T. Leath, Research Plant Pathologist, U.S. Regional Pasture Research Laboratory, University Park, Pa. 16802; R. A. Byers, Research Entomologist, U.S. Regional Pasture Research Laboratory, University Park, Pa. 16802. Phytopathology 63:428-431. Accepted for publication 15 October 1972. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-63-428.

The ability of clover root borers to discern between diseased and healthy red clover roots was demonstrated in laboratory tests. Adult borers preferred diseased roots more than healthy roots in tests with diseased root pieces on moist filter paper, buried in nonsterile soil, or with aqueous leachates from such pieces. Fungi and bacteria isolated from attractive, diseased roots and cultured on potato-dextrose agar were not attractive to the borers. Root pieces infected by Colletotrichum trifolii, Fusarium roseum, F. tricinctum, or Rhizoctonia solani were more attractive to borers than were healthy root pieces. These results support the field observation that borers are associated with diseased or dying roots and agree with the preference for dead tissue that is characteristic of bark beetles.

Additional keywords: root rot, Hylastinus obscurus, Trifolium pratense, insects.