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Pigeon pea crop stage strongly influences plant susceptibility to Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

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Volp, T. M., Zalucki, M. P., Furlong, M. J. and Musser, F. (2024) Pigeon pea crop stage strongly influences plant susceptibility to Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Journal of Economic Entomology . ISSN 0022-0493


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jee/toae050


Helicoverpa armigera Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae; Hübner) is the major insect pest of pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan; Fabales: Fabaceae; (L.) Millspaugh] worldwide. Research to develop pest management strategies for H. armigera in pigeon pea has focused heavily on developing less susceptible cultivars, with limited practical success. We examined how pigeon pea crop stage influences plant susceptibility to H. armigera using a combination of glasshouse and laboratory experiments. Plant phenology significantly affected oviposition with moths laying more eggs on flowering and podding plants but only a few on vegetative plants. Larval survival was greatest on flowering and vegetative plants, wherein larvae mostly chose to feed inside flowers on flowering plants and on the adaxial surface of expanding leaves on vegetative plants. Larval survival was poor on podding plants despite moths laying many eggs on plants of this stage. When left to feed without restriction on plants for 7 days, larvae feeding on flowering plants were >10 times the weight of larvae feeding on plants of other phenological stages. On whole plants, unrestricted larvae preferred to feed on pigeon pea flowers and on expanding leaves, but in no-choice Petri dish assays H. armigera larvae could feed and survive on all pigeon pea reproductive structures. Our results show that crop stage and the availability of flowers strongly influence pigeon pea susceptibility to H. armigera. An increased understanding of H. armigera-pigeon pea ecology will be useful in guiding the development of resistant varieties and other management tactics.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Plant culture > Field crops
Plant culture > Field crops > Other economic plants
Plant pests and diseases > Economic entomology
Live Archive:07 Apr 2024 23:12
Last Modified:07 Apr 2024 23:12

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