The project aims to determine the effects of trichomes (hairs) on the feeding and/or egg-laying behaviour of three canola pests: striped flea beetles, diamondback moths (DBM) and aster leafhoppers.
Lab bioassays and field trials were conducted with a hairy Brassica napus line and a very hairy Brassica species, B. villosa. Lab bioassays with aster leafhoppers were started in 2020 but remain unfinished because of COVID-19. Lab bioassays and a reduced field trial demonstrated that striped flea beetles tend to avoid hairy leaves and move to feed on the less hairy stems or petioles. The low level of aster yellows and absence of DBM in the field trails did not allow confirmation of the lab bioassay results.