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Use of Artificial Diets with Plant Material to evaluate Banana Cultivars for Resistance to Cosmopolites sordidus

Elyeza Bakaze
Andrew Kiggundu
Wilberforce Tushemereirwe


Artificial diets rapidly establish the effectiveness of chemical-based control strategies. Diets permit preliminary evaluation of active compounds, study in-vitro larval growth cycles that are usually inaccessible and produce uniform large consistent numbers of insects as needed. With no known artificial diet, banana weevils, have always been reared on field-collected banana rhizome (corm). This study, therefore, developed and examined the effect of commercial diet recipes fortified with susceptible banana corm powder on weevil growth and development. Subsequently, corm powders from different banana cultivars were also evaluated for weevil performance. Successful laboratory rearing of the weevils to adult stage on diet was achieved in 48 days compared to 36 days in the natural banana stem. The difference in weevil larvae performance reared different corm powder, presented a novel screening method for banana genotypes. For example genotypes, Culcatta-4 (AA), Cavendish (AAA) and Kayinja (ABB) showed 0-35% of adult emergences compared to 65% in susceptible genotypes. The diet developed can be used to perform rapid bioassay experimentation to screen potential candidate proteins or molecules for a transgenic approach. It has also shown potential for rapid screening of genotypes for resistance.


Keywords: Resistant banana, Laboratory weevil rearing, Resistance screening.

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eISSN: 2410-6909
print ISSN: 1026-0919