RESIST DETECT PROTECT: Wide-spectrum insect resistance and sound management strategies to sustainably manage insect pests on Solanaceous vegetables in South Asia

Start date: January 2017
End date: December 2020

This project designs alternative options for insect pest management and will set the stage for partners to promote and popularize these options.

No insect-resistant tomato or hot pepper cultivars are commercially available, but the World Vegetable Center has discovered wide-spectrum insect resistance in close tomato relatives. These sources are resistant to spider mites and to whitefly, the vector of begomoviruses that cause Tomato yellow leaf curl disease.

The project will evaluate their resistance to thrips (a tospovirus vector), the tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) and the tomato fruit worm (Helicoverpa armigera).  Markers linked to key resistance genes will be designed, and the genes introgressed into tropical tomato. The project will also pilot and promote IPM components targeting whitefly, fruit worm, and fruit borer.

Innovation Platforms will ensure the involvement of multiple stakeholders, particularly women, in line evaluation in different locations to select the best lines for incorporation of insect resistance. The ultimate goal is to develop cultivars with stacked insect and disease resistance.

Results are expected to benefit smallholder farm households growing tomato and hot pepper. About 2.5 million smallholders grow these crops in India and Bangladesh. Higher and more stable income will come about through lower yield losses, more stable yield, reductions in synthetic pesticide use and expense, and improved market opportunities through production of better quality produce.

India, Bangladesh

Project Coordinator:
Dr. Peter Hanson,
World Vegetable Center Tomato Breeder

Partner Agencies:

Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB):
Prof. Dr. Alain Tissier, Dept. of Cell and Metabolic Biology

Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR)
Dr. A.T. Sadashiva, Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Vegetable Crops

National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR)
Dr. Kesavan Subaharan
, Principal Scientist
Dr. M. Mohan, Senior Scientist

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)
Dr. Syed Nurul Alam
, Chief Scientific Officer and Head, Entomology Division

International Institute of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe)
Dr. Sunday Ekesi
, Head, Plant Health Division
Dr. Samira Mohamed, Classical Biological Control Specialist