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Natural enemies respond to herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs), but an often overlooked aspect is that there may be genotypic variation in these 'indirect' plant defence traits within plant species. We found that egg deposition by stemborer moths (Chilo partellus) on maize landrace varieties caused emission of HIPVs that attract parasitic wasps.(More)
Plants subjected to insect attack usually increase volatile emission which attracts natural enemies and repels further herbivore colonization. Less is known about the capacity of herbivores to suppress volatiles and the multitrophic consequences thereof. In our study, the African forage grass, Brachiaria brizantha, was exposed to ovipositing spotted(More)
Lepidopteran stemborers and parasitic weeds in the genus Striga are major constraints to efficient production of cereals, the most important staple food crops in Africa. Smallholder farmers are resource constrained and unable to afford expensive chemicals for crop protection. Development of a push-pull approach for integrated pest and weed management is(More)
1. Africa faces serious challenges in feeding its rapidly growing human population owing to the poor productivity of maize and sorghum, the most important staple crops for millions of smallholder farmers in the continent, with yields being among the lowest in the world. 2. A complex of lepidopterous stemborers attack cereals in Africa. However, their(More)
Plants from the genus Desmodium, in particular D. uncinatum, are used on sub-Saharan small-holder farms as intercrops to inhibit parasitism of cereal crops by Striga hermonthica and Striga asiatica via an allelopathic mechanism. The search for Desmodium species which are adapted to more arid conditions, and which show resilience to increased drought stress,(More)
Food insecurity is a chronic problem in Africa and is likely to worsen with climate change and population growth. It is largely due to poor yields of the cereal crops caused by factors including stemborer pests, striga weeds and degraded soils. A platform technology, 'push-pull', based on locally available companion plants, effectively addresses these(More)
The boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis, has been monitored through deployment of traps baited with aggregation pheromone components. However, field studies have shown that the number of insects caught in these traps is significantly reduced during cotton squaring, suggesting that volatiles produced by plants at this phenological stage may be involved in(More)
Maize (corn), Zea mays, is a genetically diverse crop, and we have recently shown that certain open pollinated varieties (OPVs) of Latin American origin possess a trait not present in mainstream commercial varieties: they produce volatiles in response to stemborer oviposition that are attractive to stemborer parasitoids. Here, we tested whether a similar(More)
Farming systems for pest control, based on the stimulo-deterrent diversionary strategy or push-pull system, have become an important target for sustainable intensification of food production. A prominent example is push-pull developed in sub-Saharan Africa using a combination of companion plants delivering semiochemicals, as plant secondary metabolites, for(More)
To reduce the need for seasonal inputs, crop protection will have to be delivered via the seed and other planting material. Plant secondary metabolism can be harnessed for this purpose by new breeding technologies, genetic modification and companion cropping, the latter already on-farm in sub-Saharan Africa. Secondary metabolites offer the prospect of pest(More)