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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379497

Research Project: Sustainable Management Strategies for Stored-Product Insects

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Title: Susceptibility of four different sorghum varieties to infestation by the khapra beetle

item GOURGOUTA, MARINA - University Of Thessaly
item ATHANASSIOU, CHRISTOS - University Of Thessaly
item ARTHUR, FRANKLIN - Retired ARS Employee

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/18/2021
Publication Date: 3/30/2021
Citation: Gourgouta, M., Athanassiou, C.G., Arthur, F.H. 2021. Susceptibility of four different sorghum varieties to infestation by the khapra beetle. Journal of Economic Entomology. 114(3):1373-1379.

Interpretive Summary: The khapra beetle is a world-wide pest that can subsist on grain crops, milled fractions, and processed food products. Detection of this pest triggers quarantine actions in developed countries. Sorghum is an important crop throughout the tropical regions of the world, and is being developed as an alternative crop to wheat and for value-added nutritional uses. We conducted a study to determine if the khapra beetle can persist on four different varieties of sorghum, and compared development on sorghum to wheat and wheat flour. Although the khapra beetle had greater population development on wheat and wheat flour compared to sorghum, it was still able to develop on sorghum with variation in development among varieties. The khapra beetle also caused kernel damage through feeding. Results show that grain sorghum is susceptible to the khapra beetle, and this must be taken into account when developing management plans in locations where khapra beetle has become established or has the potential to spread if infestations are not immediately controlled.

Technical Abstract: In the present study we evaluated the susceptibility of four different sorghum varieties to infestation by the khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium Everts (Coleoptera: Dermestidae), as compared with wheat, which served as a “control” commodity. In population growth assays, significantly higher numbers of T. granarium individuals were found on wheat than on the different sorghum varieties. In contrast, there were no significant differences among the four varieties of sorghum. However the proportion of immature stages (larvae, pupae) in relation with the adults varied remarkably among the different varieties, suggesting that there were differences in the development of T. granarium. Moreover, significant differences were noted among the commodities tested regarding the final weight decrease, as well as the amount of frass and kernel damage. Our study clearly demonstrates noticeable differences in the susceptibility of the varieties to T. granarium infestation. These results not only justifying the wide range of food preferences of this species, but also demonstrates important information for potential varietal resistance-based control strategy.