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Incidence of prey DNA in predators from a cotton system utilizing winter cover crops

Citation

Bowers, Carson; Schmidt, Jason; Toews, Michael (2021), Incidence of prey DNA in predators from a cotton system utilizing winter cover crops, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cnp5hqc4n

Abstract

There is increasing interest in the use of winter cover crops in annual cropping systems to promote beneficial insects and the ecosystem services they provide. One such, biological control, is a result of predation on economically important pests within an agricultural system.  The presence of cover crop residue alongside growing cotton has the potential to bolster natural enemy communities and influence trophic relationships between predators and prey.  Arthropod predators were sampled from a Georgia cotton field at each major cotton development stage from cotton grown following rye and crimson clover cover crops compared to a no cover control. DNA extracted from collected predators was screened for the presence of common cotton pests and alternative prey.  Here we provide the data resulting from the molecular gut content analysis of predators collected during the 2017 and 2018 cotton growing season. The data provided includes predator identification and details, presence of DNA for eight potential prey items, cover crop treatment, and collection date.

Methods

Predators were collected from a Georgia cotton system during the 2017 and 2018 growing seasons. Samples were taken directly from cotton plants and winter cover crop residue within a 1 m2 area and preserved for molecular anaysis.  DNA from collected and cleaned predators was screened for the presence of common cotton pests and alternative prey.  Details of the collection site, sampling procedure, DNA extraction, and molecular analysis can be found in the metadata tab of the data file. 

Funding

University of Georgia

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Award: GEO00884-S1073

Georgia Cotton Commission, Award: 15-156GA

Cotton Incorporated

Georgia Cotton Commission, Award: 15-156GA