Submitted to: International Chickpea and Pigeonpea Newsletter
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2005
Publication Date: 12/1/2005
Citation: Clement, S.L., Ridsdill-Smith, J., Cotter, S. 2005. First-instar helicoverpa punctigera larvae: feeding responses and survival on desi chickpea and the wild relative cicer bijugum. International Chickpea and Pigeonpea Newsletter.12:35-37.
Interpretive Summary: The introduction of chickpea cultivars with resistance to pod boring Lepidoptera would help farmers reduce losses and provide an environmentally safer option to chemical control. The discovery of Helicoverpa armigera resistance in wild chickpea species by entomologists in India and Australia provides optimism that pod borer-resistant chickpea cultivars could eventually be developed and released to farmers. Research in this paper by a USDA-ARS entomologist and CSIRO-Australia entomologists describes a laboratory method to evaluate wild chickpea accessions for resistance to pod boring Lepidoptera, including Helicoverpa punctigera in Australia and Spodoptera in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Additionally, this research is important because it points to possible sources of Spodoptera resistance in chickpea accessions that could be exploited for cultivar improvement in the United States.
Technical Abstract: The lepidopterous pod borer Helicoverpa punctigera is a major constraint to commercial chickpea production in Australia, where host-plant resistance would be preferable to conventional insecticides to manage this pest. Unfortunately, current chickpea cultivars lack inherent resistance traits, prompting a search for resistance in germplasm accessions of the wild relative Cicer bijugum. A series of 48 hour feeding and survival experiments failed, however, to find strong Cicer bijugum resistance to early instar larvae. By contrast, the onset of feeding by neonate larvae was consistently delayed on a desi chickpea from India and larval mortality was relatively high (16.7-33.3%) on this accession. Thus, some desi chickpea lines from India may be a source of resistance to the pod borer, H. punctigera. The results also point to possible sources of resistance to Spodoptera pod borer, a chickpea pest in the United States.