This study observed resource of resistance in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genotypes to its principal insect pest gram pod borer Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). For this purpose, the susceptibility or resistance of 26 chickpea genotypes was checked at the farm conditions on the basis of combinations of different selected criteria (pod borer’s population, percentage of pod damage and grain yield). No any of protective measures were implemented to control insect pest spreading on crop. Data on numbers of H. armigera population per plant along with its damage were collected during seedling and pods formation stages, whereas, at crop maturity after harvesting determined seed yield to analyze statistically. Generally, pod borers infestations on different chickpea genotypes remained variable throughout cropping season. Similarly, grain yield of various genotypes also differed due to variable pest intensity and genetic diversity. Considering overall performance amongst the trial material, genotypes CM-24-2/02, CM-210/01, CH-53/99, and CC-94/99 proved the most stable for lessening pest population density and damage, and enhancing grain yield. This was almost certainly due to high potential of resistant chickpea genotypes for pest tolerance and yield enhancement; therefore, genotypes CM-24-2/02, CM-210/01, CH-53/99, and CC-94/99 may be used as resistant donors in the crossing program to evolve pod borer tolerant varieties of chickpea. On the other hand, genotype CM-86-3/02 appeared awkward because of highly affected in its survival against insect pest and poorest yield performance. Consequently, host plant resistance could be regarded as the most important sustainable approach to reduce losses due to insect pests.
Key words: Cicer arietinum, resistance, Helicoverpa, pod borer, chickpea.
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