Susceptibility and tolerance in hybrid and pure-line rice varieties to herbivore attack: biomass partitioning and resource-based compensation in response to damage

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Journal Article
Annals of Applied Biology, 2016, 169 (2), pp. 200 - 213
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© 2016 Association of Applied Biologists Hybrid rice has been noted for its susceptibility to insects and diseases compared to pure-line (conventional) rice varieties. We investigated herbivory by Nilaparvata lugens, Sogatella furcifera and Scirpophaga incertulas on replicated three-line hybrid sets (parental and hybrid lines) in field and greenhouse experiments. In a field experiment, caterpillar densities and stemborer damage was similar among hybrid and parental lines. In field and greenhouse experiments, the cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS)-lines and maintainer lines had higher densities of planthoppers (including N. lugens and S. furcifera) than restorer or hybrid lines likely because of their wild abortive CMS-lineage. High nitrogen levels increased plant mortality due to N. lugens, but often reduced mortality from S. furcifera and S. incertulas: this was similar between hybrid and pure-line varieties. The hybrids were generally more tolerant of herbivory (lower biomass reductions per unit weight of insect) than the inbred parental lines. The addition of nitrogen to both the hybrid and pure-line varieties had contrasting effects on tolerance depending on the nature of the attacking insect: fertiliser increased tolerance to S. furcifera (lower losses of yield and shoot biomass per mg insect) and S. incertulas (lower yield, shoot and root biomass loss) but fertiliser reduced tolerance to N. lugens (higher loss of root biomass and no effects on yield and shoot biomass loss). Our results indicate that hybrid rice is not physiologically more susceptible to herbivores than are pure-line varieties even under high nitrogen conditions, but does have higher tolerance to insect damage.
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