Evaluation of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) varieties for use as trap plants for the management of African stemborer (Busseola fusca) in a push-pull strategy

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Khan, Z. R., Midega, C. A. O., Wadhams, L. J., Pickett, J. A. and Mumuni, A. 2007. Evaluation of Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) varieties for use as trap plants for the management of African stemborer (Busseola fusca) in a push-pull strategy. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 124 (2), pp. 201-211.

AuthorsKhan, Z. R., Midega, C. A. O., Wadhams, L. J., Pickett, J. A. and Mumuni, A.
Abstract

We evaluated eight Napier grass [Pennisetum purpureum Schumach (Poaceae)] varieties, used in various parts of eastern Africa as fodder, for their potential role as trap plants in the management of the African stemborer, Busseola fusca Fuller (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) through a push-pull strategy. Oviposition preference, larval orientation, settling, arrest and dispersal, feeding, mortality and survival, and development were determined for each of these varieties under laboratory and screen house conditions. Two-choice tests showed that only two of the varieties tested (cv. Bana and cv. Uganda Hairless) were preferentially chosen by gravid female moths for oviposition over a susceptible maize variety, cv. Western Hybrid 502. Larval preference was, however, highly variable. Larval feeding by first instars on the maize leaves was more intense and significantly more than on leaves of all the Napier grass varieties evaluated. Food consumed and amounts assimilated by the third instars over a 24-h period were not different among larvae fed on stems of maize and those fed on stems of the various Napier grass varieties. Larval survival was significantly lower on all the Napier grass varieties (below 3%) than on maize (about 44%). Similarly, larval development was about 2-3 weeks longer on majority of the Napier grass varieties. It was concluded that cv. Bana had potential for use as a trap plant in the management of B. fusca because it was more preferred by the moths for oviposition, equally preferred as maize by the larvae for orientation, settling, and arrest, and allowed minimal survival of the larvae. It can thus be used with such 'push' plants as Desmodium spp. (Fabaceae) in a 'push-pull' strategy, but the effectiveness of such a strategy would strictly depend on proper establishment and management of these companion plants.

KeywordsEntomology
Year of Publication2007
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Journal citation124 (2), pp. 201-211
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1570-7458.2007.00569.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or codePDM
ISSN00138703
PublisherWiley

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