DOI: 10.7717/peerj.16944 ISSN: 2167-8359

Evaluation of different Kabuli chickpea genotypes against Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in relation to biotic and abiotic factors

Hafiz Muhammad Bilal Yousuf, Muhammad Yasin, Habib Ali, Khalid Naveed, Ammara Riaz, Amal Mohamed AlGarawi, Ashraf Atef Hatamleh, Yunfeng Shan
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


The chickpea pod borer Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) is a significant insect pest of chickpea crops, causing substantial global losses.


Field experiments were conducted in Central Punjab, Pakistan, to investigate the impact of biotic and abiotic factors on pod borer population dynamics and infestation in nine kabuli chickpea genotypes during two cropping seasons (2020–2021 and 2021–2022). The crops were sown in November in both years, with row-to-row and plant-to-plant distances of 30 and 15 cm, respectively, following a randomized complete block design (RCBD).


Results showed a significant difference among the tested genotypes in trichome density, pod wall thickness, and leaf chlorophyll contents. Significantly lower larval population (0.85 and 1.10 larvae per plant) and percent damage (10.65% and 14.25%) were observed in genotype Noor-2019 during 2020–2021 and 2021–2022, respectively. Pod trichome density, pod wall thickness, and chlorophyll content of leaves also showed significant variation among the tested genotypes. Pod trichome density and pod wall thickness correlated negatively with larval infestation, while chlorophyll content in leaves showed a positive correlation. Additionally, the larval population positively correlated with minimum and maximum temperatures, while relative humidity negatively correlated with the larval population. Study results explore natural enemies as potential biological control agents and reduce reliance on chemical pesticides.

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