African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12106

Full Length Research Paper

Quality of field collected and laboratory reared Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) for screening maize genotypes

  Daniel L.  Mutisya1, Tadele Tefera2* and Stephen Mugo2
  1Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Katumani, P. O. Box 340-90100. Machakos, Kenya.    2International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), P. O. Box 1041-00621, Nairobi, Kenya. 
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 July 2013
  •  Published: 21 August 2013



The quality of laboratory reared stem borer species for screening of maize varieties is usually 
questioned by end user cereal breeders. A quality check study was performed in a screen house at 
KARI-Katumani to evaluate the quality of eight-year old laboratory reared stem borer, Chilo partellus 
(Swinhoe). The evaluation was aimed at finding out the performance of the laboratory borers subjected 
to six-month interval of gene infusion in comparison with wild F1 generation of the same species 
collected from the field. One hundred (100) maize seedlings were grown on plastic pots of 5 by 5 cm and 
of 12 cm-height. The maize seedlings were infested with five first instar larvae on eight plants replicated 
four times for each borer ecotype. The wild ecotypes were collected from two different localities for 
comparison with eight-year old laboratory reared borers. Foliar damage, tunnel length on the maize 
stems and the recovered number of C. partellus larvae from the maize plants were used as the 
parameters for quality measure of the borer ecotypes. The laboratory-reared stem borer species had 
been subjected to frequent six-month gene-infusion interval from the wild. The results indicated feedvoracity drop of 3.8 and 21.5% for stem and foliar damage on the laboratory borer ecotype. The study 
established the need for continuous gene infusion to maintain high quality maize stem borer species as 
test organisms. 
Key words: Chilo partellus, quality insects, insect rearing, maize genotypes. 
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