The brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens (Stål) (Homoptera: Delphacidae), feeds on rice plants (Oryza sativa L.). BPH are among the most important pests of rice, and rice is the major staple crop for about half the world's population. They damage rice directly through feeding and also by transmitting two viruses, rice ragged stunt virus and rice grassy stunt virus. Up to 60% yield loss is common in susceptible rice cultivars attacked by BPH. The BPH are distributed in: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhuthan, Burma (Myanmaar), Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, North and South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Their host plant other than rice is Leersia hexandra.
The brown plant hopper is dimorphic, with fully winged 'macropterous' and truncate-winged 'brachypterous' forms. The macropterous forms are potentially migrants and are responsible for colonizing new fields. After settling down on the rice plants, they produce the next generation in which most of the female insects develop as brachypters and males as macropters. Adults usually mate on the day of emergence, and the females start laying eggs from the day following mating. Brachypterous females lay 300 to 350 eggs, while macropterous females lay fewer eggs. The eggs are thrust in a straight line generally along the mid-region of the leaf sheath. Eggs hatch in about six to nine days. The newly hatched nymphs are cottony white, and turn purple brown with in an hour; they feed on plant sap. They undergo five instars to become adults.
BPH  infest the rice crop at all stages of plant growth. As a result of feeding by both nymphs and adults at the base of the tillers, plants turn yellow and dry up rapidly. At early infestation, round, yellow patches appear, which soon turn brownish due to the drying up of the plants. This condition is called 'hopper burn'. Temperature is a critical factor in the life activities of the insect. The hatchability and survival rate are the highest around 25 °C. Eggs are very sensitive to desiccation and soon shrivel when the host plant starts wilting. The population growth of brown plant hopper is maximum at a temperature range of 28 to 30 °C.
Excessive use of urea as nitrogenous fertilizer and insecticides can lead to outbreaks by increasing the fecundity of the brown planthopper, and by reducing populations of natural enemies. In 2011, the Thai government announced an initiative to address brown planthoppers that included restricting the use of outbreak-causing insecticides including abamectin and cypermethrin - the decision was supported by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). IRRI also outlined recommendations in an action plan to help smartly manage planthopper outbreaks. In December 2011, the IRRI held a conference in Vietnam to address the threats of insecticide misuse and explore options for mitigation.
Predators of this insect include the spiders Pardosa pseudoannulata and Araneus inustus. In some cases, BPHs lay eggs in the rice seed beds (also known as rice nurseries) shortly before transplanting, so enter the field in this manner.
Differential mortality of predators and hoppers does not appear to be the primary factor for resurgence. Some insecticides evidently increase the protein content of BPH male accessory glands, and thereby increase planthopper fecundity. Some insecticides increase the amount of amino acids and sucrose available in the phloem of rice plants, and thereby increase BPH survival.
Management and Control
Rice varieties with resistance to BPH, e.g. IR64, are important for preventing outbreaks. However, in areas with low insecticide use, high levels of BPH resistance are not usually necessary. Chemical mutagenesis can significantly increase or decrease BPH resistance levels of rice. Some chemical insecticides, e.g. imidacloprid, can affect the gene expression of rice and thereby increase susceptibility to BPH.
In an attempt to make BPH control more species-specific, researchers are trying to develop methods of turning off specific BPH genes for digestion-, defense- and xenobiotic metabolism. Many novel genes for these functions have been detected in tissue from BPH intestines.
Impact of Climate Change
Research indicates that BPH nymphs are already living at the upper limits of tolerable temperatures. This suggests that climate warming in tropical regions with occasional extremely high temperatures would limit the survival and distribution of BPH.
- Ricehoppers - a blog on the latest information and issues relevant to managing rice planthopper problems
- Khush, GS (1999). "Green revolution: preparing for the 21st century.". Genome 42 (4): 646–55. doi:10.1139/g99-044. PMID 10464789.
- Oudhia, P. "Traditional medicinal knowledge about green leafhopper, Nephotettix spp., in Chhattisgarh (India)." International Rice Research Notes 25.3 (2000).
- Preap, V.; Zalucki, M. P.; Jahn, G. C. (2006). "Brown planthopper outbreaks and management". Cambodian Journal of Agriculture 7 (1): 17–25.
- Preap, V., MP Zalucki, GC Jahn 2002. Effect of nitrogen fertilizer and host plant variety on fecundity and early instar survival of Nilaparvata lugens (Stål): immediate response. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Inter-Country Forecasting System and Management for Planthopper in East Asia. November 13–15, 2002. Guilin China. Published by Rural Development Administration (RDA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 2002. pp 163–180, 226 pages.
- Preap, V.; Zalucki, M. P.; Nesbitt, H. J.; Jahn, G. C. (2001). "Effect of fertilizer, pesticide treatment, and plant variety on realized fecundity and survival rates of Nilaparvata lugens (Stål); Generating Outbreaks in Cambodia". Journal of Asia Pacific Entomology 4 (1): 75–84. doi:10.1016/S1226-8615(08)60107-7.
-  IRRI media release: IRRI supports Thai move to stop insecticide use in rice.
- action plan
- international conference
- Preap, V.; Zalucki, M. P.; Jahn, G. C.; Nesbitt, H. (2001). "Effectiveness of brown planthopper predators: population suppression by two species of spider, Pardosa pseudoannulata (Araneae, Lycosidae) and Araneus inustus (Araneae, Araneidae)". Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 4 (2): 187–193. doi:10.1016/S1226-8615(08)60122-3.
- Preap, V.; Zalucki, M. P.; Jahn, G. C.; Nesbitt, H. J. (2002). "Establishment of Nilaparvata lugens Stål in rice crop nurseries: A possible source of outbreaks". Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 5 (1): 75–83. doi:10.1016/S1226-8615(08)60134-X.
- Chelliah, S.; Heinrichs, E. A. (1980). "Factors Affecting Insecticide-Induced Resurgence of the Brown Planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens on Rice". Environmental Entomology 9 (6): 773–777.
- Wang, Ping; Shen, Jun; Ge, Quan; Wu, Cai; Yang, Qin; Jahn, Gary C.; Li-, Lin- Jin- Guo- (2010). "Insecticide-induced increase in the protein content of male accessory glands and its effect on the fecundity of females in the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens Stål (Hemiptera: Delphacidae)". Crop Protection 29 (11): 1280–1285. doi:10.1016/j.cropro.2010.07.009.
- Ge, Lin-Quan; Yao Chen , Jin-Cai Wu , and Gary C Jahn (2011). "Proteomic analysis of insecticide triazophos-induced mating–responsive proteins of Nilaparvata lugens Stål (Hemiptera:Delphacidae)". J. Proteome Res. 10 (10): 110908153310033. doi:10.1021/pr200414g. PMID 21800909.
- Jin-cai Wu, Jian-xiang Xu; Shu-zong Yuan, Jing-lan Liu; Yong-hou Jiang, Jun-feng Xu; Liu, Jing-lan; Jiang, Yong-hou; Xu, Jun-Feng (2001). "Pesticide-induced susceptibility of rice to brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens". Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 100 (1): 119–126. doi:10.1046/j.1570-7458.2001.00854.x.
- Athwal, D. S.; Pathak, M. D.Bacalangco, E. H.Pura, C. D. (1971). "Genetics of Resistance to Brown Planthoppers and Green Leafhoppers in Oryza sativa L". Crop Sci. 11 (5): 747–750. doi:10.2135/cropsci1971.0011183X001100050043x.
- Alam, S.N.; Cohen, M.B. Detection and analysis of QTLs for resistance to the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens in a double-haploid rice production. Theor. Appl. Genet. 1998, 97, 1370–1379.
- Sangha, J.S.; Y.H. Chen, J. Kaur, W. Khan, Zainularifeen Abduljaleel, Mohammed S. Alanazi, Aaron Mills, Candida B. Adalla, John Bennett, Balakrishnan Prithiviraj, Gary C. Jahn, Hei Leung. Proteome Analysis of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Mutants Reveals Differentially Induced Proteins during Brown Planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) Infestation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 3921-3945; doi:10.3390/ijms14023921.
- Cohen, Michael B.; Alam, Syed N.; Medina, Edith B.; Bernal, Carmencita C. (1997). "Brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens, resistance in rice cultivar IR64: mechanism and role in successful N. lugens management in Central Luzon, Philippines". Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 85 (3): 221–229. doi:10.1023/A:1003177914842.
- Sangha, Jatinder Singh; Yolanda H. Chen; Kadirvel Palchamy; Gary C. Jahn; M. Maheswaran; Candida B. Adalla; Hei Leung (2008). "Categories and Inheritance of Resistance to Nilaparvata lugens (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) in Mutants of Indica Rice 'IR64'". Journal of Economic Entomology 101 (2): 575–583. doi:10.1603/0022-0493(2008)101[575:CAIORT]2.0.CO;2. PMID 18459427.
- Yao Cheng, Zhao-Peng Shi, Li-Ben Jiang, Lin-Quan Ge, Jin-Cai Wu, Gary C. Jahn 2012. Possible connection between imidacloprid-induced changes in rice gene transcription profiles and susceptibility to the brown plant hopper Nilaparvata lugens Stål (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, Available online 20 January 2012, ISSN 0048-3575, 10.1016/j.pestbp.2012.01.003
- Yan-Yuan Bao, Ying Wang, Wen-Juan Wu, Dong Zhao, Jian Xue, Bao-Qin Zhang, Zhi-Cheng Shen, Chuan-Xi Zhang, De novo intestine-specific transcriptome of the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens revealed potential functions in digestion, detoxification and immune response, Genomics, Available online 14 February 2012, ISSN 0888-7543, 10.1016/j.ygeno.2012.02.002.
- Powell, K.S.; Gatehouse, A.M.R.; Hilder, V.A.; Gatehouse, J.A. (1993). "Antimetabolic effects of plant lectins and plant and fungal enzymes on the nymphal stages of two important rice pests, Nilaparvata lugens and Nephotettix cinciteps". Entomol. Exp. Appl. 66: 119–126. doi:10.1007/BF02382280.
- Powell, K.S.; Gatehouse, A.M.R.; Hilder, V.A.; Gatehouse, J.A. (1995). "Antifeedant effects of plant lectins and an enzyme on the adult stage of the rice brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens". Entomol. Exp. Appl. 75: 51–59. doi:10.1007/BF02382779.
- Powell, K.S.; Gatehouse, A.M.R.; Hilder, V.A.; Peumans, W.; Damme, E. Van; Boonjawat, J.; Horsham, K.; Gatehouse, J.A. (1995). "Antimetabolic effects of related plant lectins towards nymphal stages of Nilaparvata lugens". Entomol.exp.appl. 75: 61–65. doi:10.1007/BF02382780.
- Rao, KV; Rathore, K. S., Hodges, T. K., Fu, X., Stoger, E., Sudhakar, D., Williams, S., Christou, P., Bharathi, M., Bown, D. P., Powell, K., Spence, J., Gatehouse, A. R. and Gatehouse, J. (1998). "Expression of snowdrop lectin (GNA) in transgenic rice plants confers resistance to rice brown planthopper". The Plant Journal 15 (4): 469–477. doi:10.1046/j.1365-313X.1998.00226.x. PMID 9753773.
- Piyaphongkul J , Pritchard J , Bale J (2012) Can Tropical Insects Stand the Heat? A Case Study with the Brown Planthopper Nilaparvata lugens (Stål). PLoS ONE 7(1): e29409. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029409