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The influence of cabbage cultivars on the fitness of Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus 1758) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) and its biological control agent Cotesia vestalis (Haliday 1834) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

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dc.contributor.advisor Nofemela, Sicelo Robert
dc.contributor.advisor Modise, D. M. Nethononda, Phophi Dzivhuluwani 2016-04-20T13:03:19Z 2016-04-20T13:03:19Z 2015-09 2016-04-20
dc.identifier.citation Nethononda, Phophi Dzivhuluwani (2015) The influence of cabbage cultivars on the fitness of Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus 1758) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) and its biological control agent Cotesia vestalis (haliday 1834) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus 1758.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), is a major insect pest of Brassica crops in many parts of the world leading to economic losses amounting to an estimated US$ 4-5 billion. Although parasitoids (biological control agents) play a major role in suppressing the pest populations during November – May in South Africa, the pest reaches outbreak status during September and October due to low impact of parasitoids, which has necessitated regular application of insecticides. However, insecticide applications have often resulted in the pest developing resistance, and when coupled with the negative effects of several insecticides on parasitoids, integration of the two pest control strategies for effective management of P. xylostella population density has been difficult to achieve. One approach that has received little attention is integration of host plant resistance (bottom-up effect) and biological control (top-down effect) for effective management of P. xylostella. However, the interaction between host plants, the insect pest, and parasitoids is not simple and straight forward, as strong negative impact of host plants on fitness of the insect pest can be cascaded up the food chain and have a negative impact on a given parasitoid, which in turn may reduce the desired complementary effect between the two pest control strategies. To identify optimal interactions between cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata, Brassicaceae), P. xylostella and its larval parasitoid Cotesia vestalis (Haliday 1834) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), this study investigated (i) the effects of seven cabbage cultivars (Empowa, Hollywood F1, Megaton, Leano, Menzania, Beverley Hills and Karabo) on fitness parameters (survival, developmental time, pupal weights, longevity without food and oviposition rates) of P. xylostella; (ii) the influence of the same host plant cultivars on fitness parameters (developmental time, pupal weights, longevity xi without food, fecundity, emergence rate and sex ratio) of C. vestalis. Furthermore, net reproductive rates and the intrinsic rates of natural increase were calculated for C. vestalis that emerged from hosts fed on each of the cultivars. All experiments were conducted in climate-controlled laboratory rooms maintained at 22 ± 1 ºC (mean ± S.D.), 60 ± 5 % RH and 16L: 8D photoperiod. Under the no choice test, overall survival of P. xylostella immature stages was highest on Karabo (67.26%) and lowest on Megaton (44.92%). The larval and pupal developmental period, and generation time was prolonged on Empowa (18.48 days), Karabo (14.64 days) and Beverly Hills (17.48 days), while developmental period on Hollywood F1 (13.79 days) was shortest. Male and female P. xylostella pupal weights were lighter from larvae that fed on Megaton (4.13 and 4.65 mg), Menzania (4.53 and 4.91 mg), and Hollywood F1 (4.11 and 5.08 mg), whereas pupal weights from Karabo (6.0 and 6.82 mg) were the heaviest. Unfed female moths originally reared on Beverley Hills had the highest longevity (5.05 days), whereas those reared on Leano (3.54 days) and Megaton (3.89 days) had the shortest life span. Under the choice-test, P. xylostella moth laid significantly more eggs on Empowa (48.8%) and Hollywood F1 (45.6%) and least on Menzania (11.8%) and Leano (10.6%). Megaton was more resistant to P. xylostella due to lower survival rates of immature stages, lower pupal weights and moth longevity. The generation time of C. vestalis was shortest on Karabo (10.10 days) and Leano (10.38 days), and longest on Megaton (12.57 days) and Empowa (12.80 days). The highest pupal weight of C. vestalis was obtained from parasitoids reared from P. xylostella fed Menzania (5.4 mg), Megaton (5.25 mg) and Beverly Hills (4.85 mg) and the lightest on Karabo (3.8 mg). Parasitoids reared on larvae that fed on Hollywood F1 lived the longest (2.28 days) followed by Menzania (1.94 days) and Beverly Hills (1.8 days), whereas those whose hosts fed on Leano had shortest life span (0.83 days). Despite the parasitoids from Megaton hosts being heavier, their fecundity and number of female progeny per female (16.87 and 3.60, respectively) were lowest. Cotesia vestalis fecundity and daughters produced per female were highest on hosts fed on Menzania (38.00 and 9.13, respectively) and Beverly Hills (32.87 and 9.07, respectively). As a consequence, the net reproductive rate (R0) and intrinsic rate of increase (r) were higher on Menzania (7.87 and 0.58, respectively) and Beverly Hills (8.29 and 0.62, respectively). As survival and overall fitness of P. xylostella was lower on Megaton, this cultivar can play a major role in restricting population growth of this pest and thus generational number of eggs deposited on it during September and October. However, this strong bottom-up effect of Megaton on P. xylostella was cascaded up the food chain, as overall fitness of C. vestalis was lower on hosts developing on it. In contrast, the overall fitness of C. vestalis was higher on hosts that developed on Menzania and Beverly Hills. As these cultivars showed potential to sustain population density of C. vestalis at higher levels, it is also assumed that the period required for the parasitoid to reach the critical density to suppress the host population at a lower average density will be reached quicker than on other cultivars. Thus, their cultivation may improve biological control of P. xylostella during November–May in South Africa en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xii, 75 leaves) : color illustrations en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject.ddc 635.34978
dc.subject.lcsh Cabbage -- Diseases and pests en
dc.subject.lcsh Diamondback moth -- Biological control en
dc.subject.lcsh Plutellidae -- Biological control en
dc.subject.lcsh Biological pest control agents en
dc.subject.lcsh Pests -- Biological control en
dc.title The influence of cabbage cultivars on the fitness of Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus 1758) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) and its biological control agent Cotesia vestalis (Haliday 1834) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Agriculture, Animal Health and Human Ecology en
dc.description.department M. Sc. (Agriculture)

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