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Cowpea plant architecture in relation to infestation and damage by the legume pod borer, Maruca testulalis Geyer (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) 1. effect of canopy structure and pod position
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The effects of cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. canopy structure and pod position in relation to infestation and damage by the legume pod borer, Maruca testulalis Geyer were investigated. Defoliated cultivars sustained significantly less infestation and damage (P < 0.05) than those undefoliated. Relative humidity measured under the canopy was lower in defoliated cultivars, while soil and ambient temperatures were higher. Percentage pod damage and larval infestation by M. testulalis in flowers were positively correlated with relative humidity, and negatively correlated with temperature. Both correlations were significant (P < 0.01). Cultivars with pods held within the canopy suffered significantly more damage (P < 0.05) than cultivars whose pods were held in the normal position. Canopy structure and pod position acting together or independently, exerted profound effects on cowpea resistance to M. testulalis. Selection and breeding cowpea cultivars with less dense foliage (= open canopies) and long peduncles holding the reproductive structures above the canopy, should increase cowpea resistance to M. testulalis.
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Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/5474
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