Farmers growing maize in
This led them to begin breeding maize varieties, which are resistant to stem borers by introducing Bacillus thurigiensis (Bt) gene into a number of varieties to test resistance against two types of stem borers, namely Chilo partellus and Busseola fusc.
Results from trialsThe three-year research is under the Water Efficient Maize for
"We introduced three weevils per plant after three months from planting season, followed by weekly introduction three times, meaning each plant was infested with 30 insects per plant. We then kept monitoring the damage caused on the leaves until harvesting time," Dr Otim narrated.The team planted about 20 different varieties with eight transgenic and eight isolates, with no genetically modified genes.
The transgenic material was obtained from International Maize, Food and Improvement Centre (CIMMYT). Three varieties were local varieties: Longe6H, Longe10H and DK8031. The rest of the varieties are coded as entrants from 1-16
At the trial site, part of the field was infested with stem borers and the other part of it was not. The results showed that the transgenic varieties gave good yields despite infestation but the non-transgenic varieties were destroyed, with a few lines showing poor yields.
This trial is a regulatory requirement during the research stage. The team intends to repeat this trial two more times to evaluate if the performance is consistent. Thereafter, the resistant varieties will be incorporated in the local farmer-preferred varieties for final release to the farmers.
Dr Otim explains that this particular transgenic variety contains certain protein called cry1AB, derived from a bacterium that lives in the soil. When consumed by stem borers either from the leaves or cobs, there are receptors that end up killing the insects.
This trial is going on in other countries where the WEMA project is taking place including
Dual resistance"If farmers are able to increase their production by observing proper agronomy practices, then this means production will rise when they use varieties bred using advanced technologies like biotechnology," Dr Asea says.
The team will combine genes of drought tolerant maize with Bt maize so that farmers will purchase only one variety but with dual resistance.CIMMYT statistics indicate that insect pests affect 46 per cent of the global maize-growing area. They destroyed a quarter of the maize grown globally every year.
This destruction is valued at 25 million metric tonnes worth
This, therefore, means breeding maize varieties resistant to both drought and stem borers will greatly benefit smallerholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, including
stem borers in uganda
Stem borer is highly-prevalent in
Most Popular Stories
- Prosecutor to Investigate Walmart Police Shooting
- Chrysler Gets Nod as a Top Employer for Hispanic Women
- GM to Announce New Jobs in Tennessee
- Mark Sanchez Suddenly a Hot QB Commodity
- Hispanic Entrepreneurs Set Pace in Florida
- Smith & Wesson Misses Target
- Laid-off Workers Return to Their Fields
- Emirates Hit Libyan Targets With Airstrikes
- Marco Rubio Warns Obama on Deportations
- Michael Brown Funeral: Can Americans Change the Script of Violence?