Biological Foundations for Management of Field Insect Pests of Cowpea in Africa

CRSP:   |  Region:   |  Topic: ,   |  Database:

Project Code:

Start Date:

End Date:

CRSP Phase:
Phase 1, Phase 2

Not Available

, ,


Lead University:

Other Partners:

Principal Investigator(s):
Barry Pittendrigh

Co-Principal Investigator(s):
brahim Baoua, INRAN, Niger Clementine Dabire, INERA, Burkina Faso Mohammad Ishiyaku, IAR, Nigeria Jeremy McNiel, UWO, Canada David Onstad, UIUC, U.S. Larry Murdock, Purdue, U.S. William Muir, Purdue, U.S. Joseph Huesing, Monsanto, U.S. Niang Malick Ba, INERA, Burkina Faso; Julia Bello, UIUC, U.S.; Manuele Tamò, IITA, Benin; Mamadou N'Diaye, IER, Mali; Dr. Madhu Viswanathan, UIUC, U.S.; George Czapar, UIUC, U.S.


Field and storage insect pests are the most severe biotic constraints for cowpea production. Insect-resistant cultivars have the potential to resolve some of the pest problems like root-knot nematode. However, the lack of cultivars that resist major insect pests like legume pod borer, bruchids, and pod sucking bugs cannot be filled by conventional breeding because attempts to find genes conferring resistance in the cowpea genome to these pests have failed so far. Thus, farmers often resort to the use (and misuse) of neurotoxic pesticides to control cowpea insect pests in some cases with dire consequences to their health, the health of their families, and the end users that purchase the cowpeas. Thus, there is a need to develop alternative strategies for control of the insect pests of cowpea, in order to reduce the levels of pesticides used on cowpea crops.


1. Characterizing the life-history patterns and wild alternative hosts of the coreid pod sucking-bugs, Clavigralla tomentosicollis Stal and Anoplocnemis curvipes (F.); the groundnut aphid, Aphis craccivora Koch; and, thrips, Megalurothrips sjostedti Trybom and Sericothrips occipitalis Hood. This objective will lay the foundation for the field knowledge that we will need to develop Integrated Pest Management-omics (IPM-omics) strategies for these aforementioned five pest species. Development and deployment of extension materials for IPM of pests of cowpeas. 2. Build capacity at host country institutions for the rearing and mass release of bio-control agents that are currently ready for release (Objective 1 for the "Implementation of a Comprehensive Bio-Control Program for the Management of Economically Important Insect Pests on Cowpea in West Africa – Technology Dissemination Project UIUC West Africa"). 3. Collections of biological control agents for sequencing and development and of IPM-omics tools. 4. Increase the capacity, effectiveness and sustainability of agricultural research institutions, in order to serve the bean and cowpea sectors in Burkina Faso, Niger, and northern Nigeria. Perform degree and non-degree training in order to build institutional capacity. Perform farmer field schools in order to develop the capacity for the eventual deployment of novel pest control strategies. Within the current funding cycle the main goal is to train farmers in the basic biology of the insect pests.


Coming soon

Send us your questions or comments

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Please enter this text: