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The herbivoral interaction between midge species, Scatopsciara cunicularius (Sciaridae: Diptera) and the thallose bryophyte, Marchantia polymorpha L.

Sawangproh, Weerachon (2014) BION31 20132
Degree Projects in Biology
Abstract
The life stages of the sciarid fly Scatopsciara cunicularius and the effect of 3rd & 4th instar larval feeding on the bryophyte liverwort Marchantia polymorpha were studied in laboratory at two constant temperatures, 12.3 ± 0.6 ºC and 22.6 ± 1.7 ºC. A 14-hour period of light was provided during the 24-hour day/night-cycle. The experiments were carried out inside Petri dishes, at a relative humidity between 101 and 116%. The developmental period of sciarid fly was increased in the colder temperature. Larvae reared at colder temperature fed slower but over a longer period than those reared at warmer temperature, causing larger damaged area to the M. polymorpha thallus. The egg-laying potential of insect ranged from 70 – 174 eggs per female... (More)
The life stages of the sciarid fly Scatopsciara cunicularius and the effect of 3rd & 4th instar larval feeding on the bryophyte liverwort Marchantia polymorpha were studied in laboratory at two constant temperatures, 12.3 ± 0.6 ºC and 22.6 ± 1.7 ºC. A 14-hour period of light was provided during the 24-hour day/night-cycle. The experiments were carried out inside Petri dishes, at a relative humidity between 101 and 116%. The developmental period of sciarid fly was increased in the colder temperature. Larvae reared at colder temperature fed slower but over a longer period than those reared at warmer temperature, causing larger damaged area to the M. polymorpha thallus. The egg-laying potential of insect ranged from 70 – 174 eggs per female (mean 31.5 ± 9.1 eggs). The type of insect reproduction was digenic, meaning that one female can produce both male and female offspring and the brood sex ratio was variable but the overall sex ratio did not depart from 1:1. The mean development time of the egg, larva, and pupa, at constant temperature of 22.6 ± 1.7 ºC was 4.2, 20.1 and 3.9, respectively, whereas the longevity of the adult stage was 4.9 days. The results suggest that S. cunicularius is a promising future agent for biological control of Marchantia polymorpha in greenhouse cultures. (Less)
Popular Abstract
A promising biological control agent for controlling liverwort weed in greenhouse production systems

A thalloid liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, is a common weed of economically important plant seedlings in nursery and greenhouse systems. The liverwort can propagate rapidly under controlled environments with high relative humidity and shady conditions, the same conditions used in plant seedling maintenance. Such an ideal condition, the liverwort was viewed as a restrictor for water penetration, a competitor for nutrients, and a provider for other pests and disease vectors. Recently, larvae of a black-winged fungus gnat (midge) species named Scatopsciara cunicularius, had been observed feeding and tunneling on the liverwort thallus in... (More)
A promising biological control agent for controlling liverwort weed in greenhouse production systems

A thalloid liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, is a common weed of economically important plant seedlings in nursery and greenhouse systems. The liverwort can propagate rapidly under controlled environments with high relative humidity and shady conditions, the same conditions used in plant seedling maintenance. Such an ideal condition, the liverwort was viewed as a restrictor for water penetration, a competitor for nutrients, and a provider for other pests and disease vectors. Recently, larvae of a black-winged fungus gnat (midge) species named Scatopsciara cunicularius, had been observed feeding and tunneling on the liverwort thallus in Lund University Experimental Greenhouse. The larval feeding seems to cause serious damage to the growth and survival of the liverwort. In addition, the midge population expansion seems to increase when the ambient temperature become warmer in the early spring. I hypothesize that larval herbivory is detrimental to the liverwort so that its growth is reduced and the risk for drought stress is increased. The damage extent caused by larval feeding probably differs in different ambient temperatures. I also hypothesize that the midge life cycle is temperature-dependent. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to compare the damaged areas of liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) thalli caused by different number of larvae, which were reared inside the Petri dish condition at two constant temperature regimes: 12 ºC and 22 ºC, and investigate the entire life cycle of the midge species at constant 22 ºC.

My results revealed that the larvae apparently live on living parts of the liverwort thalli. The larvae reared at the colder temperature had been observed feeding liverwort thalli at slower rate but longer period than those reared at the warmer temperature. Consequently, the larvae at the colder temperature entered pupal stage significantly slower but caused larger damaged areas than those reared at the warmer temperature. In some cases, larval herbivory could induce secondary attacks by other pests and fungal infection to the liverwort, which pose threats to its growth and survival. The reproductive potential of the midge species reared at constant 22 ºC was relatively high. One female can produce eggs from 70 – 174 eggs per batch. The insect requires 28 – 43 days to complete life cycle from egg to adult death. The mean development period of egg incubation, larva, and pupa at constant temperature of 22 ºC was 4.2, 20.1 and 3.9 days, respectively, whereas the mean longevity of the adult stage was 4.9 days. One female can produce exclusively male or exclusively female offspring but most of the female can produce both male and female offspring in the same proportion.

The results suggest that the midge species can be promoted as a biological agent of the liverwort weed in nurseries and greenhouse systems in the future. However, the specificity between two species needs to be studied further to make sure that the midge does not attack non-target crops.


Advisor: Nils Cronberg
Master´s Degree Project 45 credits in Plant Ecology and Systematics 2014
Department of Biology, Lund University (Less)
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author
Sawangproh, Weerachon
supervisor
organization
course
BION31 20132
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
4679043
date added to LUP
2014-09-24 16:01:48
date last changed
2014-09-24 16:01:48
@misc{4679043,
  abstract     = {The life stages of the sciarid fly Scatopsciara cunicularius and the effect of 3rd & 4th instar larval feeding on the bryophyte liverwort Marchantia polymorpha were studied in laboratory at two constant temperatures, 12.3 ± 0.6 ºC and 22.6 ± 1.7 ºC. A 14-hour period of light was provided during the 24-hour day/night-cycle. The experiments were carried out inside Petri dishes, at a relative humidity between 101 and 116%. The developmental period of sciarid fly was increased in the colder temperature. Larvae reared at colder temperature fed slower but over a longer period than those reared at warmer temperature, causing larger damaged area to the M. polymorpha thallus. The egg-laying potential of insect ranged from 70 – 174 eggs per female (mean 31.5 ± 9.1 eggs). The type of insect reproduction was digenic, meaning that one female can produce both male and female offspring and the brood sex ratio was variable but the overall sex ratio did not depart from 1:1. The mean development time of the egg, larva, and pupa, at constant temperature of 22.6 ± 1.7 ºC was 4.2, 20.1 and 3.9, respectively, whereas the longevity of the adult stage was 4.9 days. The results suggest that S. cunicularius is a promising future agent for biological control of Marchantia polymorpha in greenhouse cultures.},
  author       = {Sawangproh, Weerachon},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The herbivoral interaction between midge species, Scatopsciara cunicularius (Sciaridae: Diptera) and the thallose bryophyte, Marchantia polymorpha L.},
  year         = {2014},
}