Allen Knutson, Texas A&M research entomologist and post-doctoral associate Manuel Campos have performed no-choice greenhouse screening for tolerant varieties. “Our project was to determine if several breeding lines had resistance to feeding on pods by green stink bugs,” Knutson said.  “We caged green stink bugs on soybean pods on plants in the greenhouse and allowed them to feed for four days.  We removed the stink bugs and allowed the pods to mature.”

“At maturity (harvest) we examined each seed for feeding punctures and also weighed the seed.  Number of feeding punctures and seed weight was compared to seeds of the same variety not fed upon by stink bugs. Fifteen lines were evaluated and compared to the Brazilian line known to be resistant to stink bug.

 “Three lines were resistant based upon a reduction in feeding punctures, and two lines were resistant based upon a reduction in seed weight loss (they lost the least amount of seed weight when fed upon by stink bugs). These no-choice studies were conducted at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas and the results were recently published in the Southwestern Entomologist.

In 2009, the team’s efforts evolved from screening and identification of tolerant lines to breeding resistant varieties with decent yield.  Pengyin Chen from the University of Arkansas and Heitholt crossed these four promising test lines with public varieties adapted to the Mid-South region. The team expects to have enough seed for small-scale field testing in 2011.