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Abstract

Development and demography of Adalia decempunctata L. were studied under laboratory conditions at seven constant temperatures (12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32 and 36°C). First instar larvae failed to develop to second instar at 12°С and no development occurred at 36°C. The total developmental time varied from 47.92 days at 16°C to 15.94 days at 28°C and increased at 32°C. The lower temperature thresholds of 11.05 and 9.90°C, and thermal constants of 290.84 day-degree and 326.34 day-degree were estimated by traditional and Ikemoto-Takai linear models, respectively. The lower temperature threshold (Tmin) values estimated by Analytis, Briere-1, Briere-2 and Lactin-2 for total immature stages were 11.99, 12.24, 10.30 and 10.8°C, respectively. The estimated fastest developmental temperatures (Tfast) by the Analytis, Briere-1, Briere-2 and Lactin-2 for overall immature stages development of A. decempunctata were 31.5, 31.1, 30.7 and 31.7°C, respectively. Analytis, Briere-1, Briere-2 and Lactin-2 measured the upper temperature threshold (Tmax) at 33.14, 36.65, 32.75 and 32.61°C. The age-stage specific survival rate (sxj) curves clearly depicted the highest and lowest survival rates at 16 and 32°C for males and females. The age-specific fecundity (mx) curves revealed higher fecundity rate when fed A. gossypii at 24 and 28°C. The highest and lowest values of intrinsic rate of increase (r) were observed at 28 and 16°C (0.1945 d–1 and 0.0592 d–1, respectively). Also, the trend of changes in the finite rate of increase (λ) was analogous with intrinsic rate of increase. The longest and shortest mean generation time (T) was observed at 16 and 28°C, respectively and the highest net reproductive rates (R0) was estimated at 24 and 28°C. According to the results, the most suitable temperature seems to be 28°C due to the shortest developmental time, highest survival rate, and highest intrinsic rate of increase.
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Abstract

The future of food security in Africa is being severely threatened due to an exponential increase in population, which is almost three times the increase of food production. Maize production is constrained by stem borers which cause significant yield losses. Yield losses can be further compounded by higher temperatures due to climate changes, which are expected to increase the population of maize stem borers. While several methods have been employed in stem borer management, there is still significant damage caused by maize stem borers. This necessitates better control methods including the adoption of recent biotechnological advancement in RNA interference (RNAi) technology. This review highlights evidence of an increase in the stem borer population as well as the foreseen decline in maize production worldwide due to the effects of climatic changes. Furthermore, we have drawn attention to improved methods that have been used to control stem borers in maize production as well as a reluctant acceptance of traditional biotechnology in Africa. Finally, we suggest the application of alternative RNA interference techniques to breed maize for efficient pest control in order to achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable maize production.
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