Expression of resistance to diapausing and nondiapausing spotted stem borer, Chilo partellus in sorghum and maize: Implications for crop improvement and IPM
Duration: 01/May/2016 - 30/Apr/2019
Project contact: Dr H C Sharma (H.SHARMA@CGIAR.ORG)
Donor: Government department -national- state or local
CGIAR Research Program: Dryland Cereals
Genetic and molecular characterization of locally adapted life-history traits of insects such as diapause and polyphenism is important to understand the response of insect populations to climate change (Soderlind and Nylin 2011), and the host plants on which it feeds. This is particularly relevant for the polyphagous pests such as spotted stem borer, Chilo partellus, since this species feeds on several species of the family Gramineae, including the two major cereal crops, sorghum and maize in India. It undergoes winter diapause (hibernation) in northern India, and aestivation in summer in southern India. However, the information on the existence of genetically diverse populations of C. partellus in different agro-ecological conditions, induction and termination of diapause, and the interaction of different ecotypes of C. partellus with their host plants in relation to environment is unknown. This information is important to develop stem borer resistant cultivars in sorghum and maize, and develop IPM strategies to minimize the extent of losses due to this pest. The research under this project will help to fill in the above research gaps for better understanding of insect-plant interactions, and devising target-specific management strategies for C. partellus in different crops, with particular emphasis on maize and sorghum, without which the research efforts on host plant resistance in these crops will continue to be unproductive.