Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Silicon-based induced resistance in maize against fall armyworm [Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)].

Abstract

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is a major economic pest in the United States and has recently become a significant concern in African and Asian countries. Due to its increased resistance to current management strategies, including pesticides and transgenic corn, alternative management techniques have become more necessary. Currently, silicon (Si) is being used in many pest control systems due to its ability to increase plant resistance to biotic and abiotic factors and promote plant growth. The current experiments were carried out at the College of Plant Protection, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, China, to test the effect of Si on lifetable parameters and lipase activity of fall armyworm and vegetative and physiological parameters of maize plants. Two sources of Si (silicon dioxide: SiO2 and potassium silicate: K2SiO3) were applied on maize plants with two application methods (foliar application and soil drenching). The experiment results revealed that foliar applications of SiO2 and K2SiO3 significantly (P≤0.05) increased mortality percentage and developmental period and decreased larval and pupal biomass of fall armyworm. Similarly, both Si sources significantly (P≤0.05) reduced lipase activity of larvae, and fecundity of adults, whereas prolonged longevity of adults. Among plant parameters, a significant increase in fresh and dry weight of shoot, stem length, chlorophyll content, and antioxidant activity was observed with foliar applications of Si. Root fresh and dry weight was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher in plants treated with soil drenching of SiO2 and K2SiO3. Moreover, SiO2 performed better for all parameters as compared to K2SiO3 and control treatment. The study conclusively demonstrated a significant negative effect on various biological parameters of fall armyworm when plants were treated with Si, so it can be a promising strategy to control this pest.