Eldana Saccharina Walker Case Study

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Combined chemical and biological control of Fusarium and nematode species associated with Eldana saccharina in sugarcane

Introduction
Eldana saccharina Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidea) is a serious pest in maize, sorghum and in all sugarcane regions of South Africa. It is an African native with a wide distribution within South Africa and has a number of natural hosts including the water sedges Cyperus dives and Cyperus papyrus (Assefa et al., 2008; Webster et al., 2005; Rutherford, 2015). The pest is estimated to cause the sugarcane industry losses of over a billion rand per annum (Zhou, 2015). This stem borer started becoming a sugarcane pest when its natural hosts were destroyed for sugarcane production through wetland drainage and bringing sugarcane fields very close to wetlands (Rutherford, 2015). Unlike other significant stem-borers (Busseola, Sesamia and Chilo species) Eldana saccharina rarely feeds on ‘fresh’ leaf
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Production of resistant varieties is time consuming and needs to be supplemented with other control methods. Sometimes varieties of good agronomic properties are not released from breeding trials because of their susceptibility to eldana (Zhou, 2015). Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria have been reported as a safer method against plant pathogens. These rhizobacteria have been isolated from the phyllosphere, rhizosphere and as endophyte from the plant tissue (Glick, 1995). These bacteria not only enhance the growth of plants by solubilizing phosphate, fixing nitrogen but also improve plant resistance against pathogen invasion by activating system acquired resistance (Bloemberg and Lugtenberg, 2001), producing hydrogen cynide and sidrophores (Kloepper et al.,

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