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Molecular identification of <i>Helicoverpa armigera</i> (Hubner) associated with tomatoes (<i>Solanum lycopersicum L.</i>) in Ogun State

B.I. Ewedairo
A.A. Osipitan
A.R. Popoola
L.O. Sanni
M.I. Takeet


The tomato fruit worm Helicoverpa armigera is a key polyphagous agricultural pest with a worldwide distribution. Apart from tomatoes, H. armigera also infests cotton, maize, chickpea and pigeon-pea. Its larvae affect almost all the aerial parts of tomato plants from the vegetative stage to the fruit maturation stage. Due to its high mobility, it causes a huge damage on crops and, as such, early detection of H. armigera from different agro-ecosystems is crucial for implementing control measures. Herein, we used a molecular marker approach to identify Helicoverpa spp. collected from twelve different locations in Ogun State. The H. armigera larvae used for the molecular identification were collected on tomato fruits from the 12 different locations from three agro-ecological zones in Ogun State. Genomic DNA of Helicoverpa was extracted and its purity was checked using Nanodrop spectrophotometer. Cytochrome Oxidase-I (CO-I) region of the DNA was subjected to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification. The PCR amplification of the CO-I gene after gel electrophoresis of PCR products of H. armigera showed a similar banding pattern at 700 base pairs which confirmed the insect as H. armigera.

Keywords: Helicoverpa armigera, Deoxyribonucleic acid, Cytochrome Oxidase-I, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Electrophoresis.

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print ISSN: 0189-1731