Pod surface exudates of wild relatives of pigeonpea influence the feeding preference of the pod borer, Helicoverpa armigera uri icon

abstract

  • Wild relatives of crops are an important source of resistance genes against insect pests. However, it is important to identify the accessions of wild relatives of crops with different mechanisms of resistance to broaden the basis and increase the levels of resistance to insect pests. Therefore, we studied the feeding behavior of pod borer, Helicoverpa armigera, which is the most damaging pest of pigeonpea, in relation to biochemical characteristics of the pod surface exudates in a diverse array of germplasm accessions belonging to 12 species of pigeonpea wild relatives. Feeding by H. armigera larvae was significantly lower on the unwashed or water-, methanol-, or hexane-washed pods of Canajus sericeus, C. scarabaeoides, Flemingia bracteata, F. stricta, and Rhynchosia aurea than those of C. acutifolius, C. albicans, C. cajanifolius, C. lineatus, D. ferruginea, P. scariosa, R. bracteata, and the cultivated pigeonpea, C. cajan genotypes, ICPL 87, and ICPL 332, although there were a few exceptions. The methanol-washed pods of wild relatives were less preferred for feeding by the H. armigera larvae than the unwashed pods, but the hexane-washed pods were preferred more than the unwashed pods. The results suggested that methanol extracted the phagostimulants from the pod surface, while hexane removed the antifeedants. The high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) finger printing of methanol and hexane pod surface extracts showed qualitative and quantitative differences in compounds present on the pod surface of different wild relatives of pigeonpea. Some of the peaks in HPLC profiles were associated with feeding preference of the third-instar larvae of H. armigera. There was considerable diversity in wild relatives of pigeonpea as revealed by principal component analysis based on HPLC fingerprints of pod surface extracts in methanol and hexane, and H. armigera feeding on the pods. Wild pigeonpea accessions with low amounts of phagostimulants and high amounts of antifeedants may be used for introgression of resistance genes into the cultivated pigeonpea to develop varieties with broad-based resistance to H. armigera. There is considerable diversity among the wild relatives of pigeonpea, and the accessions with resistance to pod borer. These can be used to broaden the basis and increase the levels of resistance to H. armigera

publication date

  • 2012
  • 2012