Identification of biological components, damage and control alternatives for lepidopteran sugarcane stemborers in Panama

Atencio Valdespino Randy. 2018. Identification of biological components, damage and control alternatives for lepidopteran sugarcane stemborers in Panama. Montpellier : Université de Montpellier, 187 p. Thèse de doctorat : Mécanismes des interactions parasitaires pathogènes et symbiotiques : Université de Montpellier

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Encadrement : Volkoff, Anne-Nathalie ; Goebel, François-Régis

Abstract : Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) is grown in more than 100 countries worldwide with a total production averaging 170 million tons of sugar that has a profound economic impact on social and governmental issues. In terms of biological constraints there is a complex of diseases and pests that significantly reduce the productivity of sugarcane including stemborers. In Panama, the most important pests that cause losses in sugarcane are lepidopteran stemborers. The aim of this thesis was to study the bioecology of these major pests in Panama and to study different agricultural practices that influence stemborer infestations. To carry out this aim, our thesis has been divided into six overall objectives which constitute 8 different chapters. After presenting the general context (chapter 1), the first objective was to review the results obtained on integrated pest management strategies against the sugarcane borers Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), Elasmopalpus lignosellus (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and Telchinlicus (Drury) (Lepidoptera: Castniidae) in America that compiles 221 references from 1933 to 2017 (ch apter 2). The second objective was to identify the main sugarcane pest species of Diatraea spp. (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). This research used external morphology and genitalia by comparison with the well know species D. saccharalis and allowed to confirm Diatraea tabernella Dyar as the main stemborer species in Panama (chapter 3). The third objective was to determine the entomofauna associated with stemborers using different trapping systems. A cohort of arthropods was identified as pest species, predators and parasitoids (chapter 4). The fourth objective was to evaluate the use of sentinel prey of Galleria mellonella L. as a trapping technique to identify the key natural enemies that are able to regulate borer population (chapter 5). The experiment was carried out using G. mellonella eggs, larvae and pupae and the results showed that ants (Formicidae) were the most important and effective predators. The fifth objective was to determine the flora associated with stemborers (Weeds present in and around sugarcane fields) (chapter 6). The survey consisted of sampling weeds in four conditions observed in the plantation (Close source of water, within the plantation, between the field and mangrove and at field edges). Six weed species (Poaceae) were identified as host plants of D. tabernella. The sixth objective was to investigate the effect of different agricultural practices on reducing stemborer infestations. As a first step, damage levels and economic impact of stemborer were assessed through a field experiment to determine the effect of different sugarcane varieties on stemborer damage level, the production of sugar components and the impact on sugarcane yield (chapter 7). Our results showed that D. tabernella was able to reduce the quantity and quality of sugar and biomass depending on the type of variety. Second, the effect of silicon and nitrogen doses applied in the field on stemborers infestation were investigated (chapter 8). To carry out this objective we conducted two experiments using an experimental design with 4 replicates. The results showed that the application of high nitrogen levels increased stemborer infestation. The use of silicon significantly reduced infestation. The outcomes of this thesis were the identification of the main species of stemborers, their natural enemies and associated flora, the quantification of their impact on sugarcane and the importance agricultural practices in managing these pests in Panama. The overall results can be used to propose new or refining components to better control stemborers in Panama in a more environnementally friendly way.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Saccharum officinarum, Insecte déprédateur des tiges, Gestion intégrée des ravageurs, Diatraea, Elasmopalpus lignosellus, Diatraea saccharalis, Lutte génétique, Lutte culturale

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Panama

Mots-clés complémentaires : Telchinlicus, Diatraea centrella

Mots-clés libres : Sugarcane, Stemborers, Entomofauna, Host plants, Varieties, Damage levels, Agricultural practices, Integrated pest management

Classification Agris : H10 - Pests of plants

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 4 (2014-2018) - Santé des animaux et des plantes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Atencio Valdespino Randy, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR AIDA (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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