Stem Borer Infestation on Maize Plants Treated With Salicylic Acid

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May, 2010
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Maize is cultivated under a broad range of climatic conditions in West Africa and Central Africa. Lepidopteran stem borers are a major pest of maize and losses they cause in maize vary between 10-70%. Salicylic acid (SA) is a colorless, crystalline organic acid which is widely known as a plant hormone. To determine the effect of salicylic acid on infestation and damage on maize by stem borers, different doses of salicylic acid (50g in 100L of H2O /ha, 100g in 100L of H2O/ha, 200g in 100L of H2O /ha, 400g in 100L of H2O /ha and 0g of SA as the control) were dissolved in water and sprayed on the leaves of maize plants for five times, at 10-day intervals, starting 10 days after germination until 60 days of the plant growth. The experiment was conducted in both the major and the minor seasons of the year 2009, with a split plot design; with fertilizer and without fertilizer, with four replications. The results indicated that salicylic acid appeared to have no effects on both the stem borer infestations levels and grain yield of the maize. Busseola fusca formed the majority of the stem borer larvae in the maize in both seasons, and the fertilized crops appeared to have attracted more stem borers than the unfertilized crops.
Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Science in Crop Protection.