Migdolus fryanus Damage Causes Decrease in the Starch Content in Manihot esculenta

  •  Júlio C. Guerreiro    
  •  Ana P. Azevedo    
  •  Renan R. Espessato    
  •  Vanda Pietrowski    
  •  Rudiney Ringenberg    
  •  Pedro J. Ferreira Filho    
  •  Rerison C. da Hora    
  •  Evandro P. Prado    
  •  Thaise M. Pascutti    


The beetle M. fryanus causes serious damage to cassava in Brazil. However, due to the subterranean behavior of the larvae and the recent appearance of this pest in cassava, little is known about the main behavioral characteristics and damage caused to this crop. The main aim of this study is to demonstrate the variation of starch production in the roots of M. esculenta as a result of the intensity of damage caused by M. fryanus. The study was carried out in a commercial cassava farm in Paraná, Brazil. The proposed scale for damage was: (1) No apparent root damage; (2) roots with scrapings; (3) roots with scraping across the cortex; (4) damaged roots and galleries; (5) roots with galleries and presentation of rot. The parameters evaluated were the damage caused by M. fryanus in roots and starch content, estimated by using a hydrostatic scale, starch extracted by cassava processing, and the starch reduction percentage in damaged roots, assessed by using the hydrostatic scale (SC) and processing methods (SCP). It was observed that there was manifestation of damage in approximately 60% of the roots collected directly from the ground, with levels representing loss of starch produced by the plant. Decreases in the productive parameters, such as starch content, were measured according to the increase of the proposed damage levels in the two cassava cultivation cycles, with a starch reduction rate higher than 20% when the roots suffered the most severe damage.

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