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Evaluation of African maize cultivars for resistance to fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae

Chiriboga Morales, Xavier, Tamiru, Amanuel, Sobhy, Islam S. ORCID:, Bruce, Toby J. A., Midega, Charles A. O. and Khan, Zeyaur 2021. Evaluation of African maize cultivars for resistance to fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae. Plants 10 (2) , 392. 10.3390/plants10020392

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The fall armyworm (FAW) has recently invaded and become an important pest of maize in Africa causing yield losses reaching up to a third of maize annual production. The present study evaluated different aspects of resistance of six maize cultivars, cropped by farmers in Kenya, to FAW larvae feeding under laboratory and field conditions. We assessed the arrestment and feeding of FAW neonate larvae in no-choice and choice experiments, development of larvae-pupae, food assimilation under laboratory conditions and plant damage in a field experiment. We did not find complete resistance to FAW feeding in the evaluated maize cultivars, but we detected differences in acceptance and preference when FAW larvae were given a choice between certain cultivars. Moreover, the smallest pupal weight and the lowest growth index were found on ’SC Duma 43′ leaves, which suggests an effect of antibiosis of this maize hybrid against FAW larvae. In contrast, the highest growth index was recorded on ‘Rachar’ and the greatest pupal weight was found on ‘Nyamula’ and ‘Rachar’. The density of trichomes on the leaves of these maize cultivars seems not to be directly related to the preference of neonates for feeding. Plant damage scores were not statistically different between cultivars in the field neither under natural nor artificial infestation. However, plant damage scores in ‘Nyamula’ and ‘Jowi’ tended to be lower in the two last samplings of the season compared to the two initial samplings under artificial infestation. Our study provides insight into FAW larval preferences and performance on some African maize cultivars, showing that there are differences between cultivars in these variables; but high levels of resistance to larvae feeding were not found.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2223-7747
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 February 2022
Date of Acceptance: 3 February 2021
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 19:45

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