Life histories and fitness of two tuber moth species feeding on native Andean potatoes.
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In the inter-Andean valleys of central PerA(0), two species of tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) and Symmetrischema tangolias (Gyen), often occur simultaneously in stored potatoes. Traditional farming communities in the region produce a variety of native potatoes for local consumption. These include Solanum tuberosum subsp. andigena, the presumed predecessor of commercial potatoes, S. tuberosum subsp. tuberosum. In this study, we examined resistance against P. operculella in ten native Peruvian potato varieties (Casa blanca, Chispiadita, Madre de vaca, Mamaco negro, Misha, Chorisa, Mamaco rosado, Occa papa, Vacapa jayllo, and Yana tornasol). We also compared resistance in the first five of these varieties against S. tangolias. Varieties with pigmented periderms showed moderate resistance (30-40% against P. operculella in Mamaco negro, Mamaco rosado, and Yana tornasol and 55% against S. tangolias in Mamaco negro). All the other varieties were susceptible to both moth species. Small tubers tended to be the most resistant to the attack by both moths; however, this was not related to the availability of food for developing larvae, since pupal weight and development time were unaffected by the size of tubers. Similar responses by the two moths to native potatoes indicate that tuber resistance could be used to control the complex of tuber moths that damage potatoes in the Andes. We suggest that native potatoes, which are often easily introgressed with commercial potatoes, are a potential source of resistance against tuber moths.
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