Wageningen UR researchers have published a technique for rapidly assessing resistance to plant lice in large numbers of plants simultaneously. The technique uses an automated video tracking system to determine in a rapid, simple and objective manner the preference (or lack thereof) of insects for various plants. Maarten Jongsma described the technique last year in the June 2014 issue of Plant Life, the digital newsletter about plant research at Wageningen UR. However, at the time, the technique had not yet been scientifically tested.
In a scientific article in Plant Methods, Jongsma and his colleagues suggest that this technique is very suitable for testing large numbers of plants for their resistance to lice and other stinging/sucking insect pests. Using a very simple video camera, 768 × 576 pixels and video tracking software, it was possible to automatically monitor and assess 20 plant lice on various pieces of plant leaf simultaneously.