Since the introduction of soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura, from Asia, insecticide use in soybean has increased substantially in the north central United States. Insecticide seed treatments and aphid resistant soybean varieties are management tactics that may reduce reliance on foliar applications of broad-spectrum insecticides. Exploring potential non-target impacts of these technologies will be an important step in incorporating them into aphid management programs. We investigated impacts of thiamethoxam seed treatment and Rag1 aphid resistant soybean on a fungal pathogen of soybean aphid, Pandora neoaphidis (Remaudière & Hennebert) Humber, via open plot and cage studies. We found that although thiamethoxam seed treatment did significantly lower aphid pressure in open plots compared with an untreated control, this reduction in aphid density translated into nonsignificant decreases in fungal disease prevalence in aphids. Furthermore, when aphid densities were approximately equal in seed treated and untreated soybean, no impact on aphid fungal disease was observed. In open plots, Rag1 resistant soybean experienced lower aphid pressure and aphid disease prevalence compared with a nonresistant isoline. However, in cages when aphid densities were equivalent in both resistant and susceptible soybean, resistance had no impact on aphid disease prevalence. The addition of thiamethoxam seed treatment to resistant soybean yielded aphid densities and aphid disease prevalence similar to untreated, resistant soybean. These studies provide evidence that thiamethoxam seed treatments and Rag1 resistance can impact P. neoaphidis via decreased aphid densities; however, this impact is minimal, implying use of seed treatments and host plant resistance are compatible with P. neoaphidis.
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