, Volume 159, Issue 1–2, pp 135–144 | Cite as

Combined on-farm effect of plot size and sorghum genotype on sorghum panicle-feeding bug infestation in Mali

  • A. Ratnadass
  • B. Cissé
  • S. Cissé
  • T. Cissé
  • M. A. Hamada
  • J. Chantereau
  • P. Letourmy


The reaction of four sorghum cultivars to panicle-feeding bugs was assessed in small (15 m2) and large (0.5–1.0 ha) plots for 2 years in three villages of the Kolokani region (Mali). The aim was to explain the somewhat contradictory earlier observations of pest infestation and damage in small experimental plots (on-station and on-farm) as well as in farmers’ field surveys. Irrespective of the plot size, the local guinea sorghum cultivar Bibalawili was consistently the least infested and damaged, followed by bug-resistant compact-headed cv Malisor 84-7, whereas the improved caudatum cultivar Gadiabani, which had been disseminated for nearly a decade in the region, and the improved hybrid ICSH 89002, were the most heavily damaged. When located along the border of large plots of a susceptible cultivar, small plots of the four cultivars overall were less infested and damaged than when located along the border of plots of resistant cultivars. However, they were more infested and damaged when located in the centre of large plots of susceptible cultivars than when they were in the centre of resistant cultivar plots. In large plots, bug populations and damage decreased from the border to the centre. These results suggest that, in addition to the mere plot size, plant breeders should take the genotypic environment of their experimental plots into account, namely the vicinity of large plots of pest-susceptible or -resistant cultivars, and the position of the test plots (border or centre) relative to these large plots.


Eurystylus oldi Host–plant resistance Dilution of infestation Concentration of infestation 



These studies were funded through ICRISAT and CIRAD core budgets. The authors thank farmers at Ntiobougou (Mr. Jeremie Diarra), Tioribougou (Mr. Tiema Diarra) and Wenia (Mr. Siraba Traore), for fruitful collaboration, Drs. Prabakhar and Chandra (ICRISAT-India, Patancheru) and Ms. F. Underwood (University of Reading, UK) for advice on the trial design. They also thank Mr. B. Sidibé for technical assistance, and Ms. C. Fovet-Rabot (CIRAD-France, Montpellier) for useful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ratnadass
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Cissé
    • 1
    • 3
  • S. Cissé
    • 1
  • T. Cissé
    • 1
  • M. A. Hamada
    • 1
  • J. Chantereau
    • 4
  • P. Letourmy
    • 5
  1. 1.ICRISAT-CIRADBamakoMali
  2. 2.CIRAD, URP ScridMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.ADRAO/WARDACotonouBenin
  4. 4.CIRAD, UPR Agrobiodiversité en savaneMontpellier France
  5. 5.CIRAD, UPR BiostatistiqueMontpellier France

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