Resistance of Wild Species of Peanut to an Insect Complex¹

Authors: ,


A complex of insects which can cause moderate to severe crop damage attacks peanuts in the North Carolina-Virginia production area. Wild species representing the seven sections of the genus Arachis L. were evaluated for resistance to tobacco thrips (Frankliniella fusca Hinds), corn earworm (Heliothis zea Bodie), and potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae Harris) during a 3-year field study. Very high levels of resistance for these insects were identified in several species collections. Because collections in section Arachis were among the species with the highest resistance levels, utilization of the germplasm resources to improve cultivated peanuts should be possible. In addition to evaluating species collections, 40-chromosome (A. hypogaea x wild species) hybrid derivatives were evaluated for resistance to the three insect pests plus southern corn rootworm (Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi Barber). Selections with resistance levels equal to or greater than the cultivar NC 6 were made for corn earworm and southern corn rootworm. Laboratory tests of several Arachis species indicated that a mechanism of resistance to H. zea is antibiosis. Because the levels of resistance to several insects have been greatly increased in lines of A. hypogaea, evidence exists for germplasm introgression from wild to the cultivated species of peanuts.

Keywords: insect resistance, Arachis, Wild species

How to Cite: Stalker, H. & Campbell, W. (1983) “Resistance of Wild Species of Peanut to an Insect Complex¹”, Peanut Science. 10(1). doi:

Author Notes

1Paper No. 8762 of the Journal Series of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh, NC 27650.