Investigating the Role of Plant Tolerance as Defense Against Rice Water Weevil in Irrigated Drill-seeded Rice in Louisiana

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2018: $16,471.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2021
Grant Recipient: Louisiana State University
Region: Southern
State: Louisiana
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Michael Stout
Louisiana State University, Department of Entomology


  • Agronomic: rice


  • Pest Management: cultural control, integrated pest management

    Proposal abstract:

    The rice water weevil, Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuschel, is the most important insect pest of rice in the United States. This insect poses a global threat to rice production, having recently invaded rice-producing regions of Asia and Europe. Ideally, management of rice water weevil should incorporate combinations of control tactics. However, the current management program relies heavily on chemical control. In order to minimize the impact of insecticides on the environment while maintaining production levels, increased use of alternatives to chemical control is needed. Of the available alternative tactics, host-plant resistance may have the most potential to contribute to a more sustainable pest management program. In particular, traits that allow plants to mitigate the negative effects of herbivory will be investigated. Tolerance is a type of plant defense that allows crop plants to maintain yield in spite of herbivore injury. Susceptible rice genotypes generally suffer greater yield losses that tolerant genotypes when exposed to similar levels of injury.

    This study will assess the level of tolerance in commonly grown rice cultivars in Louisiana under varying field conditions. The compatibility of plant tolerance with other non-chemical tactics such as early planting and delayed flooding will also be evaluated. Moreover, tolerance-associated traits will be examined to aid in the development of rice cultivars that are tolerant to weevil injury.

    The ultimate goal of the proposed research is to improve the sustainability of rice production by developing a pest management program that will reduce reliance on chemical control, reduce production costs, and increase net income.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Objective 1: Compare yield losses due to rice water weevil injury on commonly grown rice cultivars in Louisiana under varying field conditions.

    Objective 2: Assess the independent and interactive effects of tolerance rice cultivars and cultural control practices against rice water weevil.

    Objective 3: Elucidate tolerance-related traits to root injury in rice.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.