Plant germplasm collections may offer genetic variability useful in identifying insect resistance. The goal of this project was to evaluate buffalograss genotypes [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] for resistance to the chinch bug, Blissus occiduus Barber (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae), and to relate resistance to ploidy level, chinch bug number, and pubescence. Forty-eight buffalograss genotypes from diverse geographic locations were evaluated in replicated studies under greenhouse conditions. Of the genotypes studied, four were highly resistant, 22 were moderately resistant, 19 were moderately susceptible, and three were highly susceptible to chinch bug damage. The mean number of chinch bugs was significantly different among the 48 genotypes. There was no significant correlation between chinch bug resistance and ploidy level or chinch bug resistance and pubescence. These results indicate the genetic source of resistance to chinch bugs exists in buffalograss germplasm. Highly resistant genotypes can be used in breeding programs to further improve buffalograss cultivars.
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Vol. 97 • No. 6