Skip to navigation Skip to content

Research uncovers patterns of pest infestation in yard-long beans

Maruca vitrata, a threat to production of yard-long beans (courtesy Uni. Ruhuna)
"These findings help deepen the understanding of how the pest M. vitrata affects the production of such a valuable source of nutrition.

Protein dense yard-long beans offer an affordable source of vitamins, particularly in South Asia where the crops thrive. However, the bean pod borer, Maruca vitrata, threatens the production of these vitamin-rich legumes, with potential implications for food security in the region.

In a new study, Dr. Roy Neilson from the James Hutton Institute along with colleagues at the University of Ruhuna (Sri Lanka) uncover patterns in M. vitrata larvae infestation of yard-long beans.

Dr Neilson and his colleagues found that pest infestation varied depending on the developmental stage of the flowers and pods. The three cropping seasons in Sri Lanka also affected infestation levels. The team discovered that the highest level of infestation occurred when the plant had flower buds. Open flowers experienced the second highest level of infestation, followed by levels found on mature pods and finally immature pods.

M. vitrata were present in peak levels six and eight weeks after planting of the yard-long beans. They also were higher in the Maha and Off cropping seasons.

Dr Neilson, from the James Hutton Institute’s Ecological Sciences group, said: “These findings help deepen the understanding of how the pest M. vitrata affects the production of such a valuable source of nutrition. Armed with this knowledge, farmers can develop strategies for abating pest infestation and ensuring their crop flourishes.”

The study is available from new publication Heliyon.

Paper: A study on Maruca vitrata infestation of Yard-long beans (Vigna unguiculata subspecies sesquipedalis). R.C. Jayasinghe, W.T.S. Dammini Premachandra, Roy Neilson, Heliyon 1 (2015) e00014.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

Share our content

Share this

Printed from /news/research-uncovers-patterns-pest-infestation-yard-long-beans on 22/05/19 05:55:00 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.