The Dominance of physico-morphic plant traits in regulating population density of Bemisia tabaci and Thrips tabaci in Bt and non-Bt Cotton

  • Mirza Abdul Qayyum, Muhammad Asad Saleem, Muhammad Ishtiaq Department of Entomology, Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture Multan, Pakistan
  • Ghulam Murtaza, Saif ullah, Aboubakar Siddique Department of Entomology, Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture Multan, Pakistan

Abstract

Policy makers, journalists and other commentators often advocate transgenic cotton (Gossypium spp.) as poor-performer against sucking insects that pose a great threat to production targets. A field study was carried out for seasonal occurrence of whitefly (Bemisia tabaci Gennadius) and thrips (Thrips tabaci Lindeman) on two of cotton genotypes namely Bt MNH-992 and non-Bt Cyto-124 under climatic conditions of Multan, Pakistan from July-October, 2017. Impact of environment as a factor was hypothesized on pests on two experimental sites [Research Area (RA) & Farmer Field (FF)]. Maximum population of whitefly at RA (13.5 and 16.7 individuals per plant) for Bt and non-Bt, respectively was recorded during SMW 40, while correspondent minimum populations (0.6 & 1.2 individuals per plant) was found during SMW28 in RA. The peak population of thrips was observed at RA during 30th SMW as (4.9 & 8.9 individuals per plant), respectively at Bt and non-Bt genotypes, declined to the lowest level of (0.1 & 0.3 individuals) in 41st SMW for both genotypes. Bt-cotton harbored relatively lower population of B. tabaci and T. tabaci in both fields owning to the presence of physico-morphich plant characters. A negative correlation of B. tabaci population was found with a maximum temperature and rainfall, and a positive relation with humidity. T. tabaci had a positive correlation with temperature and rainfall, and a negative correlation with relative humidity. The current research concluded that weather factors play and important role to increase or decrease the populations of sucking insect pests of cotton.

Keywords: Bemisia tabaci, Thrips tabaci, climatic factors, physico-morphic characters

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