Abstract 【Aim】 Athetis lepigone outbreaks recently and seriously damages summer maize (Zea mays) seedlings in China. This study aims to determine the biological and nutritional effects of different maize cultivars on A. lepigone larvae and to understand the relationship between the occurrence of this pest and maize cultivars. 【Methods】 The 3rd, 4th and 5th instar larvae of A. lepigone were fed on three regular maize cultivars(Ludan 9032, Xianyu 335 and Zhengdan 958)and one sweet maize (Chaotian 6), and their fresh weight, dry weight, survival rate, relative consumption rate (RCR), relative growth rate (RGR), approximate digestibility (AD), efficiency of conversion of digested food (ECD) and efficiency of conversion of ingested food (ECI) were determined, and the relationships between these indexes and the contents of nutrients, wax and secondary metabolites in maize seedlings were analyzed. 【Results】 The biological and nutrition indexes differed among different instar larvae of A. lepigone fed on four maize cultivars, and the contents of nutrients, wax and secondary metabolites differed among the four maize cultivars. The 3rd instar larvae fed on Ludan 9032 and Chaotian 6 had higher RCR, RGR and AD than those fed on Zhengdan 958 and Xianyu 335. The survival rate, fresh weight, dry weight, RCR and ECD of the 3rd instar larvae were significantly positively correlated to the soluble sugar content in maize seedlings, the RGR positively correlated to the protein and amino acid contents, the survival rate and RCR negatively correlated to the total phenol content, and the ECD negatively correlated to the tannin content. The 4th instar larvae fed on Xianyu 335, Chaotian 6 and Zhengdan 958 had the lowest fresh weight and dry weight, the highest AD and the highest ECI, respectively. The fresh weight, dry weight, RCR and RGR of the 4th instar larvae were significantly negatively correlated to the total phenol content in maize seedlings. The 5th instar larvae fed on Ludan 9032 and Xianyu 335 had higher fresh weight, dry weight and ECD, while those fed on Zhengdan 958 and Chaotian 6 had higher RCR and AD. The 5th instar larvae fed on Xianyu 335 had the highest ECI. The RGR of the 5th larvae was significantly positively correlated to the protein and amino acid contents in maize seedlings. 【Conclusion】 The adaptability of A. lepigone larvae to maize improves with the larval instar, and is positively correlated to the contents of soluble sugars, proteins and amino acids in maize seedlings, and negatively correlated to the total phenol and tannin contents.
GUO Ting-Ting,MEN Xing-Yuan,YU Yi et al. Relationship between the adaptability of Athetis lepigone (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and the contents of nutrients and secondary metabolites in maize seedlings[J]. ACTA ENTOMOLOGICA SINICA, 2018, 61(8): 984-990.