The potential of transgenic chickpeas for pest control and possible effects on non-target arthropods uri icon

abstract

  • Chickpea, Cicer arietinum, is the third most important grain legume crop in the world, with India being the largest producer. Insect pests are a major constraint to chickpea production. In India, the legume pod borer Helicoverpa armigera is the major insect pest of chickpeas. However, sap-sucking insects that act as vectors for viral diseases and bruchid beetles in storage are also considered important pests. Here we give an overview over the different management options to control these pests. There is a growing interest in the genetic modification of crops to enhance their resistance against insect pests. Here we present the state-of-the-art of chickpea transformation and give an overview on the available insecticidal genes that could be deployed to increase insect resistance in chickpea. Prior to commercialization, transgenic crops have to be assessed for their effects on the environment including the possible impact on non-target arthropods, many of which are important for biological pest control. Therefore, the arthropod-food web in the Indian chickpea system is described. Possible routes through which entomophagous insects could be exposed to insecticidal proteins expressed by genetically modified chickpeas are discussed, and species that could be selected for pre-release risk assessment are recommended

publication date

  • 2004
  • 2004