A laboratory experiment was conducted to evaluate direct and indirect effects of temperature on demographic traits and population growth of biotype 1 of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura. Our objectives were to better understand how temperature influences the expression of host plant resistance, quantify the individual and interactive effects of plant resistance and temperature on soybean aphid population growth, and generate thermal constants for predicting temperature-dependent development on both susceptible and resistant soybeans. To assess indirect (plant-mediated) effects, soybean aphids were reared under a range of temperatures (15–30 °C) on soybean seedlings from a line expressing a Rag1 gene for resistance, and life history traits were quantified and compared to those obtained for soybean aphids on a susceptible soybean line. Direct effects of temperature were obtained by comparing relative differences in the magnitude of life-history traits among temperatures on susceptible soybeans. We predicted that temperature and host plant resistance would have a combined, but asymmetrical, effect on soybean aphid fitness and population growth. Results showed that temperature and plant resistance influenced preimaginal development and survival, progeny produced, and adult longevity. There also appeared to be a complex interaction between temperature and plant resistance for survival and developmental rate. Evidence suggested that the level of plant resistance increased at higher, but not lower, temperature. Soybean aphids required about the same number of degree-days to develop on resistant and susceptible plants. Our results will be useful for making predictions of soybean aphid population growth on resistant plants under different seasonal temperatures.

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