The Effect of Intercropping on Relative Resistance and Susceptibility of Cowpea Cultivars to Maruca Testulalis Geyer When in Mono and When Intercropped with Maize

  • Macharia Gethi
  • E. O. Omolo
  • J. M. Mueke
Research Article


Field studies to investigate the effect of intercropping on the relative resistance and susceptibility of cow pea cultivars to Maruca testulalis impure stands and intercropped with maize, were conducted at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE). It was clearly indicated that intercropping affected the relative resistance and susceptibility of cowpea cultivars. The resistance of TVU 946 to Maruca was reduced when the cultivar was under maize. This was attributed to the phenological changes observed, i.e. when planted with maize there was a significant (P=0.05) increase in length of the pods and peduncles and significant (P=0.05) reduction in the number of branches. Weekly mean temperatures and relative humidities indicated that there were significant differences between cropping patterns. Similarly there was a significant reduction in the photosynthetic active radiation incident on cowpea canopy in all the intercropped plots. This suggested that both intercropping and microenvironmental differences observed, reduced resistance in cultivar TVU 946 by probably acting directly on the crop, thus rendering it more susceptible.

Key Words

Intercropping mixed cropping resistance susceptibility cowpea maize Maruca testulalis phenology microenvironment 


Des etudes sur le terrain pour etudier l’effet de l’assolement sur la resistance relative et la susceptibilite du niébe au Maruca testulalis ont ete faites. Le niébe fut assolé avec le mais au Centre International de Physiologie et Ecologie des Insectes. Il a étè clairement indiqué que l’assolement affecte la resistance relative et la susceptibilité du niébe. La resistance du niébe TVU 946 au Maruca a étè reduite par la presence du mais. Ceci a étè attribué aux changes phenologiques qui furent observés quand la niébe fut assoler avec le mais. Il y a en une augmentation de la longueur des cosses et de pédoncules (P = 0.05) et une reduction des nombres des branches (P = 0.05). Les moyennes hebdomadaires de temperature et d’humidité relative ont demontré qu’il y a une difference significative entre les models de plantations. Pareillement il y a une reduction significative de la radiation photosynthetic de la canopée sur toutes les parcelles assolées. Ceci implique que l’assolement et les differences microenvironmentales observés, ont réduit la resistance du plant TVU 946 en agissant directement sur la récolte pour le rendre plus susceptible.

Mots Clés

Anolement melange de recolte resistance susceptibilité niébe mais Maruca testulalis phenologies microenvironment 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Macharia Gethi
    • 1
  • E. O. Omolo
    • 1
  • J. M. Mueke
    • 1
  1. 1.Regional Research CentreEmbuKenya

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