Potential of Nicotiana kawakamii (Solanaceae) as a Trap Crop for Protecting Flue-Cured Tobacco from Damage by Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Larvae

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Nicotiana kawakamii Y. Ohashi is a wild relative of commercial tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum L. Feeding experiments showed that tobacco budworm larvae, Heliothis virescens (F.), survive and develop as well on N. kawakamii as they do on flue-cured tobacco. Field-cage experiments demonstrated that N. kawakamii was preferred over flue-cured tobacco by ovipositing H. virescens moths. Thus, N. kawakamii was tested as a potential trap crop for protecting commercial tobacco fields from damage by H. virescens larvae. During 1992-1994 at Oxford, NC, N. kawakamii was planted in every 5th row of flue-cured tobacco fields. The percentage of plants infested with H. virescens larvae averaged 4.3 times higher in rows of N. kawakamii than in adjacent rows of flue-cured tobacco. Also, tobacco in rows adjacent to N. kawakamii often had less damage from H. virescens than did tobacco in remote control fields, suggesting that N. kawakamii has potential as a trap crop in tobacco production. There were no significant differences in the percentages of parasitism by Cardiochi/es nigriceps Viereck and Campoletis sonorensis (Cameron) for H. virescens larvae collected from N. kawakamii or tobacco. Hornworm larvae, Manduca spp., were also monitored, but N. kawakamii provided no consistent protection from infestations of this pest.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1998

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