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Methods of screening cotton genotypes for resistance to cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera Hubner



Methods of screening cotton genotypes for resistance to cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera Hubner



Philippine Agriculturist 67(3): 305-312



At Los Banos in the Philippines, the techniques of field screening (weekly counts of eggs and larvae on naturally infested plants in the field), cage screening (counts of eggs and larvae 8, 9 and 12 weeks after plant emergence in pots within a wire mesh cage, into which 50 mated pairs of adults had been released 40 days after plant emergence) and cotyledon test (assessment of damage on seedlings in small plastic cups that were allowed to develop to first true-leaf stage, infested with 2 second-instar larvae/plant under a plastic bag for 48 h and then left to recover for a week after removal of the larvae) were all compared to determine the most effective method of screening cotton plant varieties for resistance to Helicoverpa armigera Cotton plants 9 weeks old were most attractive to ovipositing females, confirming the usefulness of a cotyledon test, but in general the cage test was found to be the most appropriate to conditions at Los Banos. Directions are given for improving the accuracy of the cage screening technique, and the combination is suggested of a general field or cage screening test with at least 3 cage screening tests of apparently resistant varieties, including observation of larval numbers and of the number or percentage of plant parts damaged as well as of the degree of damage to specific plant parts.

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