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Field evaluation of sweet corn varieties for their potential as a trap crop for Helicoverpa zea under tropical conditions

Rhino B., Verchere A., Thibaut C., Ratnadass A.. 2016. International Journal of Pest Management, 62 (1) : p. 3-10.

DOI: 10.1080/09670874.2015.1071900

Corn (Zea mays) is widely cultivated for human food and animal feed and also provides an ecosystem service as a trap crop for the corn earworm Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in tomato cropping systems. To be able to use corn as a trap crop for H. zea and to prevent it turning into a source of infestation, varieties are needed that are both attractive and resistant to H. zea. The main objective of this study was to compare the attractiveness to oviposition by H. zea and the resistance to H. zea of 10 sweet corn varieties in field conditions. We found Java, Garrison, Nova and Shinerock varieties that were both attractive to H. zea with a similar or higher number of eggs laid on silks than in the susceptible corn varieties, and resistant to H. zea, with fewer larvea per ear than in susceptible corn varieties. These varieties provide favorable habitats for generalist predators, ants, spiders, minute pirate bugs and lady beetles, which may account for their ¿dead-end¿ properties. Tropical farmers now have sweet corn varieties that can serve both as cash crops and as trap crops for H. zea.

Mots-clés : zea mays; variété; helicoverpa zea; zone tropicale; résistance aux organismes nuisibles; interactions biologiques; solanum lycopersicum; relation plante animal; martinique; antilles françaises; france; plante piège

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