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Saeed R.,Central Cotton Research Institute | Razaq M.,Bahauddin Zakariya University | Hardy I.C.W.,University of Nottingham
Journal of Pest Science | Year: 2015

Many agricultural pests can be harboured by alternative host plants but these can also harbour the pests’ natural enemies. We evaluated the capacity of non-cotton plant species (both naturally growing and cultivated) to function as alternative hosts for the cotton leaf hopper Amrasca devastans (Homoptera: Ciccadellidae) and its natural enemies. Forty-eight species harboured A. devastans. Twenty-four species were true breeding hosts, bearing both nymphal and adult A. devastans, the rest were incidental hosts. The crop Ricinus communis and the vegetables Abelmoschus esculentus and Solanum melongena had the highest potential for harbouring A. devastans and carrying it over into the seedling cotton crop. Natural enemies found on true alternative host plants were spiders, predatory insects (Chrysoperla carnea, Coccinellids, Orius spp. and Geocoris spp.) and two species of egg parasitoids (Arescon enocki and Anagrus sp.). Predators were found on 23 species of alternative host plants, especially R. communis. Parasitoids emerged from one crop species (R. communis) and three vegetable species; with 39 % of A. devastans parasitised. We conclude that the presence of alternative host plants provides both advantages and disadvantages to the cotton agro-ecosystem because they are a source of both natural enemy and pest species. To reduce damage by A. devastans, we recommend that weeds that harbour the pest should be removed, that cotton cultivation with R. communis, A. esculentus, and S. melongena should be avoided, that pesticides should be applied sparingly to cultivate alternative host plants and that cotton crops should be sown earlier. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Ahmed M.Z.,South China Agricultural University | Ahmed M.Z.,University of Pretoria | De Barro P.J.,CSIRO | Greeff J.M.,University of Pretoria | And 3 more authors.
Pest Management Science | Year: 2011

BACKGROUND: The cotton whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), is a cryptic species complex, and members of the complex have become serious pests in Pakistan because of their feeding and their ability to transmit cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV). Here, an analysis was made of the identity of B. tabaci collected from cotton and a range of non-cotton hosts in the cotton-growing zones in Punjab and Sindh, the main cotton-producing provinces of Pakistan, using a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 gene. The geographic distribution of the different members of the complex was then compared with the incidence of CLCuD. RESULTS: Using the Dinsdale nomenclature, the results revealed three putative species, Asia 1, Asia II 1 and Middle East-Asia Minor 1. Asia II 1 (also referred to in the literature as biotypes K, P, PCG-1, PK1, SY and ZHJ2) was only recorded from Punjab cotton plants, whereas Asia 1 (also referred to in the literature as biotypes H, M, NA and PCG-2) was found in both Sindh and Punjab. Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (commonly known as biotype B and B2) was found only in Sindh. Moreover, Asia II 1 was associated with high incidences of CLCuD, whereas regions where Middle East-Asia Minor 1 was present had a lower incidence. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Middle East-Asia Minor 1 population in Sindh formed a distinct genetic subgroup within the putative species, suggesting that the Sindh province of Pakistan may form part of its home range. So far, no individuals from the putative species Mediterranean (commonly known as biotypes Q, J and L) have been found in Pakistan. CONCLUSIONS: The capacity to manage pests and disease effectively relies on knowledge of the identity of the agents causing the damage. In the case of CLCuD in Pakistan, this knowledge has been obscured to some extent because of the inconsistent approach to identifying and distinguishing the different B. tabaci associated with CLCuD. The situation has now been clarified, and a strong association between disease incidence and vector identity and abundance has been shown. Given this advance, future research can now focus on factors that influence the capacity of different vector species to transmit the viruses that cause CLCuD, the reason for differences in vector abundance and the lack of geographic overlap between the cryptic vector species. This knowledge will contribute to the development of improved methods with which to manage the disease in Pakistan. © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry. Source

Saeed R.,Central Cotton Research Institute | Razaq M.,Bahauddin Zakariya University | Hardy I.C.,University of Nottingham
Pest Management Science | Year: 2016

BACKGROUND: Neonicotinoid seed treatments suppress populations of pest insects efficiently and can enhance crop growth, but they may have negative effects on beneficial arthropods. We evaluated the effects of either imidacloprid or thiamethoxam on the abundances of a sucking pest, the cotton leafhopper (Amrasca devastans), and its arthropod predators under field conditions. We also evaluated the impact of seed treatment on transgenic cotton plant growth, with pests and natural enemies present or absent. RESULTS: Imidacloprid and thiamethoxam reduced pest abundance, with greater effects when dosages were higher. Treatment at recommended doses delayed the pest in reaching the economic damage threshold by around 10-15 days (thiamethoxam) and 20 days (imidacloprid). Recommended doses also enhanced plant growth under all tested conditions; growth is affected directly as well as via pest suppression. Neonicotinoid applications reduced abundance of beneficial arthropods, with lower populations after higher doses, but negative effects of imidacloprid were not apparent unless the manufacturer-recommended dose was exceeded. CONCLUSION: Imidacloprid applied at the recommended dose of 5gkg-1 seed is effective against A. devastans and appears to be safer than thiamethoxam for natural enemies, and also enhances plant growth directly. We caution, however, that possible sublethal negative effects on individual beneficial arthropods were not evaluated. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry. Source

Ashfaq M.,National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering NIBGE | Ashfaq M.,University of Guelph | Asif M.,National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering NIBGE | Anjum Z.I.,Central Cotton Research Institute | Zafar Y.,PaEC
Molecular Ecology Resources | Year: 2013

Although two plastid regions have been adopted as the standard markers for plant DNA barcoding, their limited resolution has provoked the consideration of other gene regions, especially in taxonomically diverse genera. The genus Gossypium (cotton) includes eight diploid genome groups (A-G, and K) and five allotetraploid species which are difficult to discriminate morphologically. In this study, we tested the effectiveness of three widely used markers (matK, rbcL, and ITS2) in the discrimination of 20 diploid and five tetraploid species of cotton. Sequences were analysed locus-wise and in combinations to determine the most effective strategy for species identification. Sequence recovery was high, ranging from 92% to 100% with mean pairwise interspecific distance highest for ITS2 (3.68%) and lowest for rbcL (0.43%). At a 0.5% threshold, the combination of matK+ITS2 produced the greatest number of species clusters. Based on 'best match' analysis, the combination of matK+ITS2 was best, while based on 'all species barcodes' analysis, ITS2 gave the highest percentage of correct species identifications (98.93%). The combination of sequences for all three markers produced the best resolved tree. The disparity index test based on matK+rbcL+ITS2 was significant (P < 0.05) for a higher number of species pairs than the individual gene sequences. Although all three barcodes separated the species with respect to their genome type, no single combination of barcodes could differentiate all the Gossypium species, and tetraploid species were particularly difficult. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Saeed R.,Central Cotton Research Institute | Sayyed A.H.,Bahauddin Zakariya University | Shad S.A.,Bahauddin Zakariya University | Zaka S.M.,Bahauddin Zakariya University
Crop Protection | Year: 2010

The diamond-back moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) is a destructive cosmopolitan pest of cruciferous crops. The pest is present wherever its host plants exist and is considered to be one of the most widely distributed of all the Lepidoptera. We investigated the effect of various host plants on the fitness of P. xylostella and tested the hypothesis by studying development time, growth, fecundity and survival on cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata), cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis), radish (Raphanus sativus), turnip (Brassica rapa), mustard (Brassica compestris) and canola (Brassica napus var. canola). The developmental time from eggs to adult eclosion was the shortest (10 days) on canola and the longest (13 days) on turnip. Fecundity was greatest on canola (350) followed by cauliflower (268 eggs) by females eclosed from the pupae reared on canola and cauliflower, respectively, while the minimum numbers of eggs (184) were observed on cabbage. The number of eggs hatched was the highest (80%) when larvae fed on cauliflower. Survival to the adult stage was the highest (94%) on mustard followed by cauliflower and lowest (64%) on turnip. The net replacement rate was lowest for populations reared on cabbage (32.3), which was also reflected by the lowest intrinsic rate of population increase (0.20). The correlation between the intrinsic rate of population increase (rm) and the mean relative growth rate was significant (t = 20.02 d.f. = 4, P < 0.05). Canola and mustard proved to be the most suitable hosts for P. xylostella because of shorter developmental period, higher percentage of survival and higher number of eggs. The data point to the role of host plants in increasing local P. xylostella populations. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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