Feeding preferences of the legume pod borer Maruca vitrata (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larvae and suitability of different flower parts for larval development

  • Fousséni TraoreEmail author
  • Clémentine L. Dabire-Binso
  • Niango Malick Ba
  • Antoine Sanon
  • Barry Robert Pittendrigh
Research Paper


With the advent of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-cowpea, there is a need to identify the feeding preferences of Maruca vitrata Fab. to determine in which component of the plant the expression of the toxin needs to be the highest to ensure the greatest efficacy of insecticidal Bt proteins. In the current study, we examined the feeding preferences of M. vitrata larvae in a naturally infested cowpea field. We also tested, in the laboratory, the suitability of different flower components for the larval development of M. vitrata. Our results indicate that in the field, all types of flowers, regardless of their age, were infested with M. vitrata larvae. The reproductive organs, in the flowers, were the preferred feeding diet for the larvae. Laboratory bioassays confirmed that the reproductive organs were the optimal tissues for M. vitrata larval development. The implications of these findings for transgenic Bt-cowpea are discussed.

Key words

cowpea flower components larval development 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fousséni Traore
    • 1
    Email author
  • Clémentine L. Dabire-Binso
    • 1
  • Niango Malick Ba
    • 1
  • Antoine Sanon
    • 2
  • Barry Robert Pittendrigh
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches AgricolesCREAF de KamboinséOuagadougou 01Burkina Faso
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Entomologie Fondamentale et Appliquée, Unité de Formation en Sciences de la Vie et de la TerreUniversité de OuagadougouOuagadougou 03Burkina Faso
  3. 3.Department of EntomologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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