Jasmonic acid shows promise as seed treatment in fight against water weevils

Bruce Schultz, Gould, Frances I.  |  12/7/2018 6:15:05 PM

Jasmonic acidjpg

Emily Kraus counts panicles on a rice plant at the Rice Research Station
in a test of jasmonic acid as a seed treatment to reduce rice water weevil
infestations. She worked on the project while earning her doctoral degree in entomology.



For the first time a researcher tested a field-scale rice seed treatment of jasmonic acid for its potential to impart resistance against insect pests.

“It looks like it’s going to be an asset for water seeding and organic growers,” said Emily Kraus, who studied the use of jasmonic acid for her doctoral dissertation.

Kraus was studying whether jasmonic acid can be used as a seed treatment to reduce rice water weevil populations.

She said her work in 2017 showed that seed treated with the material showed fewer weevil larvae than untreated seed. The testing in 2018 did not show a difference in weevil populations, but she suspects it was because the jasmonic acid dissipated during the long lag time between the seed treatment and flooding, which occurred because of an unusually cold spring.

The highest reduction of weevil populations came with the use of jasmonic acid in tandem with Karate insecticide, she said.

Jasmonic acid does appear to delay heading of rice by a few days, she said, and it does tend to result in decreased biomass.

“There is no significant reduction in grain yield,” she said.

Kraus said it is possible that using a growth hormone could offset the biomass reduction.

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