Exploiting host plant resistance for Helicoverpa management to increase the production and productivity of chickpea and pigeonpea under rainfed conditions in India

Published on 24 April 2011

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Start Date: 28 February 2008 | End Date: 27 February 2013


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] are the two most important pulse crops in India. Though India produces about 64% of the chickpea and 90% of the pigeonpea globally, the production still is not adequate to meet the domestic demand. As a result, India has to spend over Rs. 1,000 crores every year on pulse imports. Pulse production has remained static over the past two decades. Several biotic constrains limit the productivity of pulses, of which, the cotton bollworm/legume pod borer, Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner), is the most important. There are immense opportunities for enhancing the production and productivity of chickpea and pigeonpea through a rational deployment of crop varieties with resistance/tolerance to this pest. The losses due to Helicoverpa are also aggravated by frequent occurrence of drought, which not only reduces the overall productivity of these pulses, but also makes the crops more vulnerable to damage by Helicoverpa.The impact of program for accelerated development and deployment of high-yielding cultivars of chickpea and pigeonpea for increasing the production of these crops under rainfed conditions will be limited unless due emphasis is placed on identifying varieties with less susceptibility to Helicoverpa so that the farmers do not have to resort to frequent application of toxic pesticides, which not only kill the non-target natural enemies, but also leave harmful residues on the produce. Therefore, this project aims to identify Helicoverpa-resistant varieties in the germplasm collection maintained at ICRISAT Genebank (Over 15,000 accessions) and the lines developed under the ISOPM project to provide information on their susceptibility to this serious pest, and undertake multilocational testing of Helicoverpa-resistant varieties of chickpea and pigeonpea that have earlier been identified/developed at ICRISAT, and in the national programs to identify lines for cultivation by the farmers under rainfed conditions in drought prone environments. Emphasis will also be placed on identifying genotypes with diverse mechanisms of resistance to increase the levels and diversify the bases of resistance to this pest. Efforts will also be made to understand the effect of Helicoverpa-resistant cultivars on economic thresholds, reduction in pesticide use, and their effect on the natural enemies to devise appropriate strategies for Helicoverpa management on these crops through a rational deployment of resistant varieties and 3 need based application of cost effective insecticides, and other methods for the management of this difficult to control, devastating pest.

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3 Responses to “Exploiting host plant resistance for Helicoverpa management to increase the production and productivity of chickpea and pigeonpea under rainfed conditions in India”

  1. rabia ali says:

    what is
    effect of antibiosis of chickpea on helicoverpa armigera survival

  2. HC Sharma says:

    Antibiosis is a relatively minor component of resistance in chickpea to Helicoverpa armigera as comparec to oviposition nonpreference and recovery resistance. However, it resuls in 20 – 25% mortality of the neonate larvae, prolongation of the larval period, and reduced fecundity. Antibiosis is a stronger component of resistance to Helicoverpa in wild relatives of chickpea

  3. Rrajendra prasad says:

    can you provide the details of the pigeon pea hybrids developed/in pipe line by ICRISAT, their parentage seed production technology, f1 characters and source of f1 seed availability and approximate quantities especially,
    ICPH-2671 and ICPH-2740.

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