Ecology of Swede Midge Host Plant Interactions

Researcher: Meghan Vankosky, Julie Soroka, Owen Olfert and Rong Zhou, Saskatoon Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Boyd Mori, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Eiji Nambara, Department of Cell and Systems Biology, University of Toronto, and Rebecca Hallett, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph

Project Code: ADF/SCDC/WGRF 2014-0159

Final Report: March 2020

Summary: The swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), is an invasive insect pest of canola (Brassica napus L. and B. rapa L.) and other brassicaceous vegetable crops in Canada. It has caused serious damage to canola crops in eastern Canada and is expected to have similar effects on canola production in western Canada if populations become established on the prairies. Feeding by swede midge larvae results in damage to its host plant, with typical damage symptoms including crumpled leaves, swelling of buds or petioles, corky scarring, and death of the meristem. Very little is known about the chemical ecology of swede midge, its host plant range on the prairies, or how susceptible and resistant plants react to swede midge infestation. The purpose of this project was to learn more about swede midge ecology. To do this, our project studied: (1) the host range of swede midge with emphasis on common brassicaceous weeds found on the Prairies; (2) host plant resistance in these weed species; (3) the potential biochemical basis of resistance; and (4) the factors that make plants susceptible to swede midge damage.

Click the links below to download a short version of the report, the full detailed long version of the report, or the related Canola Digest PDF.

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