Plant-insect interactions in different genotypes of ber (Ziziphus mauritiana L) against fruit borer (Meridarchis scyrodes Meyrick)
Keywords:Meridarchis scyrodes, Z. mauritiana, genotypes, bottom-up effect, plant-insect interactions
Differences in genotypes of ber plant characters may affect insect-plant herbivore interactions, and variation in genotype traits is responsible for modifying the bottom-up effects. We evaluated the performance of different genotypes of Z. mauritiana against fruit borer, Meridarchis scyrodes Meyrick, under field conditions in the semi-arid region of India. We found that: (i) four genotypes were resistant; 5 genotypes were moderately resistant; 7 genotypes were susceptible, and seven genotypes were highly susceptible to fruit borers infestation; (ii) per cent fruit infestation was highest in Sanur-5 (75.09 %) and lowest in Safeda (13.27 %) followed by Tikadi (14.01 %); (iii) phenols (0.96), Tannins (0.95), flavonoid (0.95) contents and pericarp thickness (0.88) had significant negative correlations with per cent fruit infestation of fruit borer, M. scyrodes; (iv) fruit length (0.50) and pulp: stone ratio (0.77) showed significant positive correlations with per cent fruit infestation of fruit borer, M. scyrodes and (v) flavonoid contents explained 91.40% of the total variation in fruit borer, M. scyrodes infestation. Two principal components (PCs) were extracted, explaining the cumulative variation of 88.48 %. PC1 explained 64.34 % of the variation, while PC2 explained 24.14 n. In conclusion, growers can adopt the potential resistant genotype (Safeda) of Z. mauritiana with minimal financial investment to obtain higher yields.
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