PINK BOLLWORM (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     6th July 2024        
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Context: A new study has found that the total developmental period of Pink Bollworm shortens with an increase in temperature and survival rate of the larvae also increases.

Pink Bollworm (PBW)

  • About: It is one of the major pests of American bollworm complex. It is known to occur during later stages of cotton crop growth.
  • Also Known as: Pectinophora gossypiella
  • Distribution: Originally native to India, it is now recorded in nearly all the cotton-growing countries of the world.
  • Adult PBW Characteristics: Small, thin, gray moth with fringed wings.
  • The female moth lays eggs in a cotton ball, and when the larvae emerge from the eggs, they inflict damage through feeding.
  • In parts of India, the pink bollworm is now resistant to first generation transgenic Bt cotton.


Key Findings of Study

  • Title of Study: Effect of temperature on the biological parameters of pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella Saunders (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae).
  • Shortened Generation Time: P. gossypiella completes a generation significantly faster at 40°C compared to 20°C, indicating accelerated development under high thermal regimes.
  • Impact on Egg Hatchability: It rates peak at 30°C, declining at both lower and higher temperatures, underscoring temperature sensitivity in developmental processes.
  • Temperature's Role in Incubation Period: The incubation period decreases across a range of temperatures from 20°C to 40°C, reflecting temperature-dependent developmental rates.
  • Impact on Agriculture in India:

o Reports from Indian regions highlight significant yield losses due to P. gossypiella infestations, emphasizing the pest's economic impact and regional susceptibility.

o The study underscores the need for further research on transgenerational effects and adaptive responses of P. gossypiella to evolving climatic conditions in India.

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