Project Details

Smart cereals for management of stem borer pests in staple cereals in Africa

Duration: 01/Sep/2012 - 28/Feb/2017

Locations: Eastern and Southern Africa / Kenya

Donor: Academic institute eg university or college,Rothamsted Research Ltd / Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-UK

CGIAR Research Program: Dryland Cereals

The project will develop molecular markers for the defense trait that will allow breeders to introgress it into improved lines of maize and sorghum. It will start by growing many different lines of maize and sorghum from which headspace samples of volatiles will be collected and samples of DNA taken. Volatile profiles will be compared between plants with and without stem borer pest eggs and semiochemicals identified by GC-MS and GC linked to electrophysiology. Lines that show induction of semiochemicals after stem borer oviposition will be tested in bioassays with stem borer parasitoids (key natural enemies) and will be grown in field plot trials to assess stem borer infestation levels. Genotyping by sequencing and subsequent association mapping will be used to map the trait to the genes responsible. SSR and SNP molecular markers associated with semiochemical emission will be defined and used to screen germplasm. Gene sequences encoding synthases for the semiochemicals will be searched using bioinformatics.

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