Conference Proceeding

Plant Resistance to Phytophagous Insects with Special Reference to Grain Legumes in Punjab

Dr. Gaurav Kumar Taggar

Among the different grain legumes cultivated, chickpea, pigeonpea, mungbean and urdbean are the major sources of dietary proteins in many parts of the globe. However, these crops suffer from various ecological and biological constraints. Being an important source of dietary protein in many parts of the world, grain legumes attract many phytophagous insect pests that cause considerable damage to these crops, thus, affecting the productivity of pulses. Grain legumes are a host to wide range of insect pests such as Helicoverpa armigera, Maruca vitrata, Bemisia tabaci, Spodoptera litura, Melanagromyza obtusa, pod bugs, bruchids, thrips, etc. Development of resistant varieties in legume crops is an important component of integrated pest management programme. Host plant resistance (HPR) to herbivores is considered to be an effective, economical, and environment friendly method of pest management. Considerable progress has been made in identification of crop cultivars with tolerance to major insect pests infesting grain legumes. Research at PAU has focused on standardizing and developing techniques to screen for resistance to major insect-pests of grain legumes, both under natural and artificial infestation conditions (multiple- and no-choice tests). The basis and mechanisms of host-plant resistance have been elucidated against major insect-pests of pigeonpea, chickpea and urdbean. Efforts have been made to understand the biophysical and biochemical mechanisms underlying HPR to major insect pests of grain legumes. The need of the hour is to transfer insect-tolerance genes into high-yielding cultivars with adaptation to different agro-ecosystems. Present research focuses on deploying and evaluating genes from the wild relatives of these crops, and novel genes, such as those from Bacillus thuringiensis to make HPR an effective weapon to minimize the losses due to insect pests. A thorough understanding of HPR can be utilized for interpreting the ecological interactions between plants and phytophagous insects and for exploiting in pest management in legume crops.

Published: 08 November 2017


Copyright: © 2017 Dr. Gaurav Kumar Taggar. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.