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Effect of silicon soil amendment on performance of sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (Lepidoptera:Crambidae) on rice

  • J.K. Sidhu (a1), M.J. Stout (a1), D.C. Blouin (a2) and L.E. Datnoff (a3)

The sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F.), is a pest of graminaceous crops in the southern USA, including sugarcane, maize, and rice. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of silicon (Si) soil amendments on performance of sugarcane borer, D. saccharalis, on two rice cultivars, Cocodrie and XL723. There was a significant increase in the Si content of rice plants supplemented with calcium silicate as compared to non-treated plants. Soil Si amendment led to lower relative growth rates (RGRs) and reduced boring success of sugarcane borer larvae. Effects of soil Si amendments on borer success and RGR appeared to be more pronounced in ‘Cocodrie’, the cultivar relatively susceptible to borers, than in the moderately resistant cultivar, XL723. Soil Si amendment may contribute to the management of D. saccharalis through reduced feeding injury and increased exposure to adverse environmental conditions and natural enemies arising from reduced boring success.

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