The main objectives are as follows :
* To recommend sorghum breeders in West Africa (WA) the best breeding strategies, including Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) & resistance sources to use for creating sorghum varieties combining high grain yield & resistance to head bugs (HB), stem borer (SB: Busseola) &/or midge (SM).
* To characterize insecticidal effect of Physic nut (Jatropha) and Neem extracts, and to improve extraction and formulation techniques of these compounds, in view of protecting sorghum from damage by stem & panicle pests.
* To determine the efficiency & acceptability to WA farmers of integrated pest management (IPM) packages, for reducing losses to insects on sorghum.
The work carried out in this project should accelerate the creation process of sorghum varieties combining high yield potential & pest resistance, using MAS and sources with high & stable resistance (whose genes would have been mapped). It should also result in the decentralized production of plant-derived pesticides (whose characteristics would have been documented), for use by small-scale WA farmers. Ultimately, it should lead to the adoption and implementation of IPM programs, based on technical packages with resistant varieties, plant-derived pesticides, optimum dates of sowing, and when applicable, pheromone trapping, as major components, resulting in the reduction of insect losses in sorghum yield.
The key activities envisaged are :
* Mapping genes of resistance to HB & SB in sorghum, using molecular markers, with field characterization (under artificial insect infestation) of resistances in progenies derived from Resistant X Susceptible crosses.
* Screening & breeding sorghums for resistance to HB, SB & SM. This will be carried out on-station under both natural & artificial infestation of all three pests.
* Evaluation of the toxicity on noctuid caterpillars of phorbol esters (PEs) extracted from Jatropha oil. This will be carried out in the laboratory, using DL50 techniques.
* Phytochemical analysis of PEs & other compounds in Jatropha oil with potential insecticidal properties, and determination of the mode of action on their molecular targets. Information on mutagenicity/carcinogenicity of PEs will be provided by in-vitro ADN fragmentation studies, and by a village-level survey.
* Extraction/formulation of PE-based insecticides, and assessment of their effectiveness on-station (compared to Neem extracts), to control sorghum shoot & panicle pests.
* On-station & on-farm assessment of IPM packages based on resistant sorghum varieties, plant-derived pesticide protection, optimum sowing date &/or pheromone trapping.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts