Anatomical and Biochemical Parameters of Resistance of the Wild Cowpea, Vigna Vexillata Benth (Acc. TVNu 72) To Maruca Testulalis Geyer (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae)

  • S. Oghiakhe
  • L. E. N. Jackai
  • C. J. Hodgson
  • Q. N. Ng
Research Article


The anatomical and biochemical basis of resistance of Vigna vexillata (Benth) (Acc. TVNu 72) to Monica testulalis were investigated. An uncharacteristic network of fibrous structures was observed on the petal surface of TVNu 72 but not on those of the susceptible control, IT82D-716. Stems of TVNu 72 and IT82D-716 have thick and closely packed collenchyma cells. Both varieties have been identified as possessing resistance to stem feeding; however, IT82D-716 is susceptible to flower and pod damage. The distance between pod wall epicarp and mesocarp was significantly (P < 0.05) smaller in IT82D-716, but cell and tissue arrangement were similar for both varieties.

Total sugar content in the pod wall and seed of TVNu 72 was higher (P < 0.05) than in IT82D-716. Phenol content was lower (P < 0.05) in the pod wall of TVNu 72 but the reverse was true for fresh and dry seeds. This suggests that neither phenol nor total sugar are involved in the resistance of TVNu 72 to M. testulalis. However, it seems that thick and compact collenchyma cells in the stems and Fibrous tissues on the petal surface contribute to the resistance in TVNu 72. The results are discussed in line with previous reports which indicate that trichomes are the principal factors in the resistance of TVNu 72 to M. testulalis.

Key Words

Wild cowpea (Vigna vexillataMaruca testulalis resistance anatomical biochemical 


Les bases anatomiques et biochimiques de la résistance de Vigna vexillata (Benth) (Acc. TVNu 72) à Maruca testulalis ont été déterminées. Un réseau caractéristique de structures fibreuses a été observé à la surface des pétales de TVNu 72 alors que les pétales de la variété-témoin IT82D-716 sensible n’en ont pas. Les tiges de TVNu 72 et d’IT82D-716 posssèdent des cellules collenchymateuses épaissses et très serrées. Ces deux variétés ont été identifiées comme étant résistantes aux insectes des tiges. Cependant, les fleurs et les gousses de IT82D-716 sont susceptibles aux dégâts. En ce qui concerne la paroi de la gousse, la distance qui sépare l’épicarpe de la mésocarpe est particulièrement réduite (P < 0.05) dans IT82D-716, mais la disposition des tissus et des cellules était la même pour toutes les variétés.

La teneur totale en sucres dans la paroi de la gousse et dans la graine de TVNu 72 était supérieure et diffèrait de façon significative (P < 0.05) des valeurs mesurées sur IT82D-716. La teneur en phénol de la paroi de la gousse de TVNu 72 était inférieure (P < 0.05) à celle d’IT82D-716; toutefois les valeurs sont inversées pour les graines fraîches et sèches. Ceci suggerè que ni le phénol ni les sucres n’étalent impliqués dans la résistance de TVNu 72 au M. testulalis. Cependant, il semble que les cellules épaises et compactes du collenchyme des tiges et les tissus fibreux de la surface de la pétale contribuent à la résistance de TVNu 72. Les résultats sont discutés avec les rapports antérieurs qui indiquent que les trichomes sont les principaux facteurs de résistance de TVNu 72 à M. testulalis.

Mots Clés

Niebé sauvage Vigna vexillata Maruca testulalis résistance anatomique biochimique 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Applebaum S.W., Tadmore U. and Podoler H. (1970) The effect of starch and a heteropolysacccharide fraction from Phaseolus vulgaris on development and fecundity of Callosobruchus chinensis (Coleoptera:Bruchidae). Entomol. Exp. Appl. 13, 61–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker T. A., Nielson S. S., Shade R. E. and Singh B.B. (1989) Physical and chemical attributes of cowpea lines resistant and susceptible to Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) (Coleoptera:Bruchidae). J. Stored Prod. Res. 25, 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beck S.D. (1965) Resistance of plants to insects. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 10, 207–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Birch A. N., Southgate B. J. and Fellows L. E. (1985) Wild and semi-cultivated legumes as potential sources of resistance to bruchid beetles for crop breeder: A study of Vigna/Phaseolus. In Plants for Arid Lands (Edited by Wickens G. E., Goodin J. R. and Field D. V.) pp. 303–320. Kew, Royal Botanic Gardens, UK.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Birch A. N., Fellows L. E., Evans S. V. and Doherty S. V. (1986) Para-aminophenylalanine in Vigna: Possible taxonomic and ecological significance as a seed defence against bruchids. Phytochem. 25, 2745–2749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chiang H. S. and Singh S. R. (1988) Pod hairs as a factor in Vigna vexillata resistance to the pod sucking bug, Clavigralla tomentosicollis. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 47, 195–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Duncan D. B. (1955) Multiple range and multiple F tests. Biometrics 11, 1–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. IITA (1986) Grain Legume Improvement Program Annual Report 1985. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  9. Ishikawa S., Hirao T. and Arai N. (1969) Chemosensory basis of host plant selection in the silkworm. Entomol Exp. Applic. 12, 544–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jackai L. E. N. and Daoust R. A. (1986) Insect pests of cowpeas. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 31, 95–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jackai L. E. N. (1987) Cowpea resistance to pod sucking bugs (PSBs) Grain Legume Improvement Program Annual Report. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  12. Jackai L. E. N. and Oghiakhe S. (1989) Pod wall trichomes and resistance of two wild cowpea, Vigna vexillata, accessions to M. testulalis (Geyer) (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae) and Clavigralla tomentosicollis Stal. (Hemiptera:Coreidae). Bull. Entomol. Res. 79, 595–605.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Janzen D. H., Juster H. B. and Liener I. E. (1976) Insecticide action of the phytohemaglutinin in black beans on a bruchid beetle. Science 129, 795–796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Johnson B. (1956) The influence of aphids on the glandular hairs of tomato plants. Plant Pathol. 5, 131–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kosuge T. (1969) The role of phenolics in host response to infection. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 7, 195–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Levin D. A. (1973) The role of trichomes in plant defence. Q. Rev. Biol. 48, 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Oghiakhe S. (1990) Resistance screening, biology and behaviour of Maruca testulalis Geyer (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae) on cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. Ph. D. Thesis, University of Lagos, Nigeria.Google Scholar
  18. Oghiakhe S., Jackai L. E. N. and Makanjuola W. A. (1991) Anatomical parameters of cowpea Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. stem and pod wall resistance to the legume pod borer Maruca testulalis Geyer (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae). Insect Sci.Applic. 12, 171–176.Google Scholar
  19. Oghiakhe S., Jackai L. E. N. and Makanjuola W. A. (1992) Pod wall toughness has no effect on cowpea resistance to the legume pod borer Maruca testulalis Geyer (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae). Insect Sci.Applic. 13, 345–349.Google Scholar
  20. Oghiakhe S., Makanjuola W. A. and Jackai L. E. N. (1993) The relationship between the concentration of phenol in cowpea and field resistance to the legume pod borer, Maruca testulalis Geyer (Lepidoptera:Pyralidae). Trop. Pest Management. In press.Google Scholar
  21. Olatunde G. O. and Odebiyi J. A. (1991) The relationship between total sugar, crude protein and tannic acid contents of cowpea, Vigna unguiculata L. Walp. and varietal resistance to Clavigralla tomentosicollis Stal. (Hemiptera:Coreidae). Trop. Pest Manage. 37, 393–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Price M. L. and Butler L. G. (1979) Rapid visual estimation and spectrophotometric determination of tannin content of sorghum grain. J. Agric. FoodChem. 25, 1268–1273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Reese J. C. (1979) Interactions of allelochemicals with nutrients in herbivore food. In Herbivores: Their Interaction with Secondary Plant Metabolites (Edited by Rosenthal G.A. and Janzen D.H.), pp. 309–330. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  24. Robinson D. S. (1987) Food Biochemistry and Nutritive Value, Longman, UK.Google Scholar
  25. Singh S. R. (1977) Cowpea cultivars resistant to insectpests in World germplasm collection. Trop. Grain Legume Bull. 9, 1–7.Google Scholar
  26. Walker-Simmons M. and Ryan C. A. (1977) Wound induced accumulation of trypsin inhibitor activities in plant leaves. Plant Physiol. 59, 437–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ICIPE 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Oghiakhe
    • 1
  • L. E. N. Jackai
    • 2
  • C. J. Hodgson
    • 1
  • Q. N. Ng
    • 2
  1. 1.Biochemistry and Biological Sciences Department, Wye CollegeUniversity of LondonAshford, KentEngland
  2. 2.International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)IbadanNigeria

Personalised recommendations