Arthropod-Plant Interactions

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 151–161 | Cite as

Morphological and chemical components of resistance to pod borer, Helicoverpa armigera in wild relatives of pigeonpea

  • H. C. SharmaEmail author
  • G. Sujana
  • D. Manohar Rao
Original Paper


Host plant resistance is an important component for minimizing the losses due to the pod borer, Helicoverpa armigera, which is the most devastating pest of pigeonpea. An understanding of different morphological and biochemical components of resistance is essential for developing strategies to breed for resistance to insect pests. Therefore, we studied the morphological and biochemical components associated with expression of resistance to H. armigera in wild relatives of pigeonpea to identify accessions with a diverse combination of characteristics associated with resistance to this pest. Among the wild relatives, oviposition non-preference was an important component of resistance in Cajanus scarabaeoides, while heavy egg-laying was recorded on C. cajanifolius (ICPW 28) and Rhynchosia bracteata (ICPW 214). Accessions belonging to R. aurea, C. scarabaeoides, C. sericeus, C. acutifolius, and Flemingia bracteata showed high levels of resistance to H. armigera, while C. cajanifolius was as susceptible as the susceptible check, ICPL 87. Glandular trichomes (type A) on the calyxes and pods were associated with susceptibility to H. armigera, while the non-glandular trichomes (trichome type C and D) were associated with resistance to this insect. Expression of resistance to H. armigera was also associated with low amounts of sugars and high amounts of tannins and polyphenols. Accessions of wild relatives of pigeonpea with non-glandular trichomes (type C and D) or low densities of glandular trichomes (type A), and high amounts of polyphenols and tannins may be used in wide hybridization to develop pigeonpea cultivars with resistance to H. armigera.


Host plant resistance Wild pigeonpea Helicoverpa armigera Morphological and biochemical components of resistance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)PatancheruIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsOsmania UniversityHyderabadIndia

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