Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

Vol. 10(3), pp. 145-151, 2020

ISSN: 2276-7770

Copyright ©2020, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)

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Survey of Host Plants of Cotton Mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) on Cotton Crops in Middle Awash, Ethiopia

 

 

Sharew Abate1 and Bayeh Mulate2

 

 

1Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, P.O.B 2003 Addis Ababa.

2FAOET, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

 

ARTICLE INFO

ABSTRACT

 

Article No.: 111219202

Type: Research

 

The exotic cotton mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley invaded Ethiopia during 2010, and caused widespread infestation across all six cotton growing regions. This New World species has emerged as a serious pest of cotton and other crops and weeds. Forty two host plants of P. solenopsis were identified during the cotton growing season. The host plants of P. solenopsis revealed 42, 31, and 30 species of plants belonging to 21, 16 and 16 families served as hosts for P. solenopsis at Werer, Melka Sedi, and Gewane and across all cotton growing areas of Middle Awash, respectively. The trend of P. solenopsis severity among host plants across growing areas was clearly different although G4 plants were the highest at all growing areas. This information can be helpful in management of this pest.

 

Accepted:  20/11/2019

Published: 11/09/2020

 

*Corresponding Author

Sharew Abate

E-mail: sharewabate92@ gmail.com

 

Keywords: Cotton mealybug; Phenacoccus solenopsis; host plants; Severity; Ethiopia

 

 

 

 

 


INTRODUCTION

 

Cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a soft-bodied insect that sucks sap from the host plant phloem tissues, removing biomass and water (Aijun et al., 2004). The attacked cotton plants remain stunted and produce fewer bolls of a smaller size; leaves become distorted, yellow and eventually drop off (Mark & Gullan, 2005). After feeding, the insect ejects honeydew resulting in sooty mold growth that fouls plant surfaces, blocks stomata, so impeding respiration and photosynthesis, and hence reduce yield (Saeed et al., 2007). About 5000 species of mealy bug have been recorded from 246 families of plants throughout the world. Among these, 56 species have been reported from 15 genera of family Malvaceae, including cotton and many other plants of economic importance (Ben-Dov, 1994). In Ethiopia, Cotton mealybug appeared in Melka Sadi locality in July 2010. In this year the infestation was at isolated spots and the damage the pest inflicted was insignificant. In 2011, however, the pest heavily infested wide areas of cotton fields in different localities of Awash Valley.

At present, P. solenopsis is the only major mealy bug species found infesting cotton in all the cotton growing areas of Ethiopia. Through an extensive survey that covered the whole cotton growing places in the country, the cotton mealy bug was found to be very well established from Tibila (Oromia) to Afambo (Afar) in the Awash River Basin. It was also introduced into rain fed cotton growing areas in the Amhara, Gambella, SNNPS, and Tigray regions and irrigated cotton in SNNPS (Bayeh and Meisso, 2013) and escalation of severe damage caused by this pest to one of the most important cash crops in Ethiopia, called for immediate action. As the pest was invading fast in newer areas, furthermore, there was an urgent need to collect information on its distribution, infestation and natural enemies in different cotton growing areas that would help in formulating the management strategy for this species. Therefore, this survey was conducted for identification; to determine plant category and severity level of cotton mealy bug on the different host plants from cotton-growing areas of Werer, Melka Sedi and Gewane in Middle Awash, Ethiopia.

 

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS

 

These studies were carried out from year 2013 to 2014 through fortnightly surveys in three representative cotton growing areas of Middle Awash viz., Werer, Melka Sedi and Gewane. The cotton cultivation at Middle Awash was completely under irrigation. All production areas had largely 100 percent cultivated Delta Pine 90 variety. Weed hosts in the cotton ecosystem harboring P. solenopsis were located. At each specific locality, three cotton fields located at the entrance to the farm, in the middle ground and at the end were selected in a diagonal way and one hectares of each field were sampled. For each hectare, about 10 sample plants were randomly selected for cotton mealybug assessment by diagonal cotton fields. Then, severity of infestation by cotton mealybug was scored. Severity of infestation was measured using zero to four scale viz. (Anon., 2008),   Grade 0(G0)    no  mealybug;    Grade  1(G1)    scattered appearance of few mealy bugs on the plant; Grade 2(G2)  – severe  incidence  of  mealybug  on  any  one  branch  of  the plant; Grade 3(G3) – severe incidence of mealybug on more than one branch or half portion of the plant and Grade 4(G4)– severe incidence of mealy bug on the whole plant. The weed plants were also collected and preserved as herbarium to confirm their botanical identity from Addis Ababa University, College of Biology. The host-plant species studied were identified, listed; the infested parts of each host plants. The number of plants found hosting P. solenopsis among cotton growing areas, their distribution across plant families and severity of weeds and locations were recorded.

 

 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

 

Host Plants

 

The results of this study have been summarized in one table (Table 1 below). Table 1 shows the list of host plants species in alphabetical order of families, plant species in order of plant category and grading of severity level on host plants throughout the season conducted during the observation of the CMB in the field from 2013 to 2014.

In the present study, a total of 42 host-plants in 21 families are reported. P. solenopsis has been recorded on members of 31 major plant genera in 13 families (Ben-Dov et al., 2008), these results are in accordance with the present study. The diversity of host plants observed during the surveys reflected the preferences of the CMB in natural conditions. Amaranthus dubius Mart. ex Thell., Amaranthus viridis L., Parthenium hysterophorus L., Xanthium strumarium L., Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv., Acalypha indica L., Abelmoschus esculentus L., Abutilon indicum L. Sweet, Gossipium barbadense L., Gossipium hirsutum L., Sida alba L., Sesamum indicum L., Datura stramonium L., Solanum incanum L. and Corchorus trilocularis L. were preferred host plants.


 

 

 

 

Table 1. List of host plant species in alphabetical order of families, Plant Category and Severity.

S.

No

  English

Name

Scientific Name

Plant category

          Severity

Werer

Werer

M. sedi

Gewane

1

Acanthaceae

Velvet bushwilow

Justicia nyassana Lindau

Weed

***

2

Acanthaceae

Ruellia

Ruellia patula Jacq.

Weed

**

**

**

3

Aizoaceae

Desert horsepurslane

Trianthema portulacastrum L.

Weed

***

***

***

4

Aizoaceae

Red Spinach

Trianthema triquetra Willd.

Weed

**

**

**

5

Aizoaceae

Zaleya Pentandra (L.) Jeffery

Weed

***

***

***

6

Amaranthaceae

Devils horse whip

Achyranthes aspera L.

Weed

***

**

**

7

Amaranthaceae

Pig weed

Amaranthus dubius Mart. ex Thell.

Weed

****

****

****

8

Amaranthaceae

Pig weed

Amaranthus viridis L.

Weed

****

****

****

9

Apocynaceae

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora R. Br.

Weed

**

**

**

10

Asclepiadaceae

Gun powder bush

Calotropis procera (Ait.) Ait. F.

Weed

*

*

*

 

11

Asteraceae

Wild lattuce

Launaea cornuta (Oliv. & Hiern. ) C. Jeffrey

Weed

**

**

**

12

Asteraceae

Parthenium

Parthenium hysterophorus L.

Weed

****

****

****

13

Asteraceae

Vernonia

Vernonia galamensis (cass.) Less.

Medicinal

**

    

14

Asteraceae

Cocklebur

Xanthium strumarium L.

Weed

****

****

****

15

Bignoniaceae

 Fountain Tree 

Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv.

Tree

****   

16

Capparidaceae

Spider flower

Gynandropsis gynandra

Weed

**

**

**

17

Convolvulaceae

Sweet Potato

Ipomoea batatas (L.)  Lam.

Vegetable

***

18

Cucurbitaceae

Wild Pumpkin

Cucumis dipsaceus Ehrnb. ex spach.

Weed

**

**

**

19

Cucurbitaceae

Pumpkin

Cucurbita pepo L.

Vegetable

**

20

Euphorbiaceae

Indian acalypha

Acalypha indica L.

Weed

****   

****

****

21

Euphorbiaceae

Asthma Plant

Euphorbia hirta L.

Weed

***

***

***

22

Fabaceae

Alysicarpus

Alysicarpus quartinianus A. Rich.

Weed

**

**

**

23

Fabaceae

Indigo

Indigofera coerulea Roxb.

Weed

**

**

***

24

 Fabaceae

Lead tree

Leucaena leucocephala L.

Tree

**

 

 

25

 Fabaceae

Madras thorn

Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb.) Benth.

Tree

*

*

 

26

 Fabaceae

Mequite

Prosopis juliflora (sw.) DC.

Tree

**

**

**

27

Fabaceae

Least snout-bean

Rhynchosia minima (L.) DC.

Weed

**

**

**

28

Malvaceae

Okra

Abelmoschus esculentus L.

Vegetable

****

 

 

29

Malvaceae

Indian mallow

Abutilon indicumL.  Sweet.

Weed

**** 

****

****

30

Malvaceae

Egyptian cotton

Gossipium barbadense L.

Crop

****

 

 

31

Malvaceae

American Cotton

Gossipium hirsutum L.

Crop

****

****

****

32

Malvaceae

Paddy’s lucerne

Sida alba L.

Weed

****

 

 

33

Nyctaginaceae

Tar-vine

Boerhaavia ercta L.

Weed

***

 

 

 

 

Table 1. Contd….

S.

No

  Family

  English Name

Scientific Name

Plant category

          Severity

Werer

M. sedi

Gewane

34

Palmeae

Date palm

Phoenix dactylifera L.

Fruit Crop

*

35

Pedaliaceae

Sesame

Sesamum indicum L.

Crop

****

36

Portulacaceae

 Purslane

Portulaca oleracea L.

Weed

***

37

Rutaceae

Lemon

Citrus limon L.

Fruit Tree

**

 

 

38

Solanaceae

Thorn apple

Datura stramonium L.

Weed

****

****

****

39

Solanaceae

Tomato

Lycopersicum esculentum (L.) Mill.

Vegetable

***

 

 

40

Solanaceae

Sodom apple

Solanum incanum L.

Weed

****

****

****

41

Tiliaceae

Humera Weed

Corchorus trilocularis L.

Weed

****

****

****

42

Zygophyllaceae

Puncture Vine

Tribulus terrestris L.

Weed

**

**

**

          Severity:  *=G1    **=G2    ***=G3    ****=G4

 

 


 

Host plant categories

 

Largest number of hosts of P. solenopsis was from weeds (28) followed by trees (4), vegetables (4), field crops (3), Fruit plants (2) and medicinal plant (1) also served as hosts of P. solenopsis in Middle Awash which results similar with in coastal region of West Benga by (Patel et al.,2011). The order of hosts of P. solenopsis across plant categories at Werer, Melka Sedi and Gewane cotton growing areas were similar, with weeds occupying the top position. Fruit plants and medicinal plant in their decreasing order represented the lower end of host spectrum (Table 1 above). The spread of host range largely across weeds, trees and vegetables over field crops indicate the priority of monitoring and management of P. solenopsis on these categories of plants in the cotton production system across growing areas.

 

Host records

 

Forty two, 31, and 30 species of plants belonging to 21, 16 and 16 families served as hosts for P. solenopsis at Werer, Melka Sedi, and Gewane and across all cotton growing areas of Middle Awash, respectively (Table 1 above). Vennila et al. (2011) reported that 71, 141, 124 and 194 species of plants belonging to 27, 45, 43 and 50 families served as hosts for P. solenopsis at North, Central, and South and across all cotton growing zones of India, respectively.  Weed hosts constituted 66.67, 64.26 and 64.26 per cent in respect of Werer, Melka Sedi, and Gewane. Out of the total 42 hosts of P. solenopsis documented across the Middle Awash, 66.67 % were weeds (Fig. 1).


 

Fig.1. Families of host plants of P. solenopsis

 

 


 

Diversity of weed hosts

 

A total of 42 plant species from 21 different plant families served as hosts of P. solenopsis in Middle Awash which results were 13 plant species lower than those recorded in Pakistan by (Abbas et al., 2010). The diversity of hosts for P. solenopsis was greater at Werer (100%) followed by Melka Sedi (73.81%) and Gewane (71.43%) cotton growing areas. While common hosts were minimal between Werer + Melka Sedi (31) and Werer + Gewane (30) cotton growing areas, the highest commonality was observed between Werer + Melka Sedi (31) cotton growing areas. One monocot host plant Phoenix dactylifera L. was the only common hosts between Werer + Gewane and one medicinal plant in Werer research field (Table 2 above).    

Highest number of weed hosts of P. solenopsis belonged to Fabaceae (6) > Malvaceae (5) > Asteraceae (4) > Aizoaceae= Amaranthaceae= Solanaceae (3) > Acanthaceae= Cucurbitaceae= Euphorbiaceae (2). Twelve families had single weed species as host plants for P. solenopsis (Fig.2).


 

 

Fig. 2. Distribution of host plants of P. solenopsis

 

 


Severity of P. solenopsis on host plants

 

The trend of P. solenopsis severity among host plants across growing areas was clearly     different although G4 plants were the highest at all growing areas. More number of Grade 4 hosts at all three growing areas indicated their possible role in carryover than perpetuation of P. solenopsis. The host plants with extreme severity (G4) in order of importance were: Werer >Melka Sedi >Gewane and a total of 15 (35.71%) hosts had G4 severity among the total host plants documented for the country (Table 2). Twenty eight, 19, 14 and 23 host plants represented 34, 27, 12 and 27% of P. solenopsis severity with Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 4, respectively. These results are similar with the study of Vennila et al.( 2010).


 

 

Table 2. Severity of P. solenopsis among hosts plants

S. No.

severity

                Cotton growing area

Middle Awash

Werer

Melka Sedi

Gewane

1

Grade 1  (G1)

3

2

2

3

2

Grade 2  (G2)

15

11

12

15

3

Grade 3  (G3)

9

4

5

9

4

Grade 4  (G4)

15

14

11

15

Total

42

31

30

42

 

 


 

CONCLUSIONS

 

It may be concluded that effective weed control, biological control, chemical control, field sanitation, following proper crop rotation and quarantine measures will be of high significance while adopting management strategy of this cotton mealybug. 

                 It should be emphasized that this work was done at three locations (Werer, Melka Sedi and Gewane) at Middle Awash in a single year and a limited number of host plants of cotton mealybug Phenacoccus solenops in some of these results may differ under more intensive study from year-to –year and location-to- location of all cotton growing areas, to advance the recommendation and useful information for developing effective and efficient pest management technologies for cotton mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley).

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

I wish to thank and express my heartfelt gratitude to Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and Werer Agricultural Research Center (WARC) for the financial support and facilitation of vehicle for this research work and Adiss Ababa University, College of Biology for identified herbarium.

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Abbas G, Arif MJ, Ashfaq M, Aslam M and Saeed S. (2010). Host plants, distribution and overwintering of cotton mealybug (Phenacoccus solenopsis; Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). International Journal of Agriculture & Biology 12: 421-425.

Aijun, Z., A. Divina, S. Shyam, S.S. Miguel, A.F. Rosa, E.O. James, A.K. Jerome, R.A. Jeffrey, E.M. Dale and L.L. Stephen (2004). Sex pheromone of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus, contains an unusual cyclobutanoid monopterpene. The Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 101: 9601–9606

Anonymous (2008), Annu. Rep., (2008-09), AICCIP cotton, New Delhi. p. 4.

Bayeh Mulatu and Meisso Hemba (2013). Assessment of Cotton Mealybug Situation in Rain Fed and Irrigated Cotton of Ethiopia. Technical report submitted to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, February 2013.

Ben-Dov, Y. (1994). A systematic catalogue of the mealybugs of the world (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea: Pseudococcidae and Putoidae) with data on geographical distribution, host plants, biology and economic importance. Intercept Limited, Andover, UK.

Ben-Dov Y, Miller DR and Gibson GAP (2008). ScaleNet: A Searchable Information System on Scale Insects. Available on-line:http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/ scalenet/scalenet.htm.

Mark PC and Gullan PJ. (2005). A new pest of tomato and other records of mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) from Espirito Santo, Brazil. Zootaxa 964: 1-8.

Patel L., C. K. Mondal and A. Pramanika (2011). Survey on mealybug, Phenacoccussolenopsis Tinsley - An emerging threat to cotton based agro-ecosystem in coastal region of West Bengal. Journal of Crop and Weed 7(2):254-256 (2011).

Saeed, S., M. Ahmad and Y.J. Kwon (2007). Insecticidal control of the mealybug Phenacoccus gossypiphilous (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), a new pest of cotton in Pakistan. Entomol. Res. 37:76-80.

Vennila S., VV Ramamurthy, A Deshmukh, DB Pinjarkar, M Agarwal, PC Pagar, YG Prasad, M Prabhakar, KR Kranthi and OM Bambawale (2010). A treatise on mealybugs of Central Prabhakar, KR Kranthi and OM Bambawale, 2010. A treatise on mealybugs of Central Indian Management, New Delhi. P 39.

Vennila S., Y.G. Prasad, M. Prabhakar, Rishi Kumar, V. Nagrare, M. Amutha, Dharajyothi,  Meenu Agarwal, G. Sreedevi, B. Venkateswarlu, K.R. Kranthi and O.M. Bambawale (2011). Spatio-temporal Distribution of Host Plants of Cotton Mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley in India, Technical Bulletin No. 26, National Centre for Integrated Pest Management, New Delhi P 50.

 


 

 

Cite this Article: Sharew, A; Bayeh, M (2020). Survey of Host Plants of Cotton Mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) on Cotton Crops in Middle Awash, Ethiopia. Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences 10(3): 145-151.