Discovery in the late seventies of resistance to the green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Homoptera: Aphididae) in Prunus species was based on screening in the field or in greenhouses with natural aphid populations. Here, we assess the impact of these wild and domesticated peach trees on the behaviour, development, reproductive performance and demography of cloned aphids under controlled light and temperature. Four peach varieties, i.e., Rubira, Weeping Flower Peach, Summergrand and Male konare and the clone P1908 of the related species Prunus davidiana were tested against the highly susceptible cultivar GF305. Besides a variability in the performance of aphids among experiments, our results showed that (i) distinct mechanisms were involved in the sources of resistance studied and (ii) the ranking of the genotypes on their resistance/susceptibility status remained roughly stable throughout the experiments. Observations on the settling behaviour of first instar nymphs demonstrated antixenosis components in the resistance conferred by Rubira and Weeping Flower Peach. Nymphs began to leave the plants after a short exposure (19-21 h) and no aphid was left after 4 days. Nymphal mortality remained rather low (16%) compared to the repellent effect on aphids of both genotypes. Nymphs disappeared from Weeping Flower Peach significantly earlier than from Rubira. Summergrand, Male konare and P. davidiana clone P1908 were accepted as host plants by aphids. On P. davidiana, decreased fecundity and intrinsic rate of natural increase (r(m) = 0.20, averaged on all experiments) were clear expression of antibiosis. In addition, the mean length of the mature embryos within the gonads of the females on the day of adult moult was negatively correlated with the total number of embryos, providing evidence that aphids on this genotype lacked sufficient ressources to be directed both towards production and growth of embryos. Compared to the most susceptible cultivar GF305 (r(m) = 0.36), Summergrand(r(m) = 0.26) and Male konare (r(m) = 0.28) had, to a lesser extent, a negative impact on nymph production and rate of increase.
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