Pest Management in Grain Legumes and Climate Change uri icon

abstract

  • Grain legumes such as chickpea, pigeonpea, cowpea, field pea, lentil, faba bean, black gram, green gram, grasspea, and Phaseolus beans play an important role in food and nutritional security, and sustainable crop production. Several insect pests damage these crops, of which pod borer, Helicoverpa armigera; spotted pod borer, Maruca vitrata; spiny pod borer, Etiella zinckenella; pod fly, Melanagromyza obtusa; stem fly, Ophiomyia phaseoli; pea and bean weevil, Sitona spp.; aphids, Aphis craccivora and Aphis fabae; white fly, Bemisia tabaci; defoliators, Spodoptera litura, S. exigua, and Amsacta spp.; leafhoppers, Empoasca spp., thrips, Megaleurothrips dorsalis, and Caliothrips indicus; blister beetles, Mylabris spp.; and the bruchids, Callasobruchus chinensis and Bruchus pisorum cause extensive losses. The incidence and extent of losses due to these pests varies across seasons, locations, and cropping systems. This scenario will change considerably due to impending global warming and climate change. The geographical distribution of some of the pests will extend to northern Europe and America, while the outbreks of some other pests will become more frequent. Several sources of resistance to insects have been identified in grain legumes, and improved cultivars also been developed in some crops. However, there are limitations to large-scale adoption of insect-resistant cultivars because of limited efforts in seed production and seed distribution. Cultural manipulation of the crop and its environment involving intercropping, population monitoring, manipulation of cropping systems to encourage the activity of natural enemies, use of natural plant products and bio-pesticides alone or in combination with synthetic pesticides, deployment of insect-resistant varieties derived through conventional breeding or genetic engineering, and need based application of synthetic pesticides can be used for pest management in grain legumes for sustainable crop production. The relative efficacy of some of these pest management tactics, particularly biopesticides and natural plant product might reduce considerably in warm climates. In addition, there will be greater genotype × environment interaction for expression of resistance to insect pests, and this warrants a greater effort for identification of diverse sources of resistance to insects, and develop integrated pest management packages that will be effective under variable climatic conditions

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010