Malaysian Applied Biology Journal

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Malays. Appl. Biol. (2017) 46(4): 233–240



INFESTED WITH RED PALM WEEVIL (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus)



School of Fundamental Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu,


21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

*Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Accepted 22 November 2017, Published online 31 December 2017



Defensive mechanism of plants towards pest have been evolved through time. The plant counters the parasite attack through various responses in the morphological, biochemical and molecular mechanism. The interaction between red palm weevil (RPW) infestation on coconut tree may stimulate the plant early defense responses towards the pathogenesis. This infestation induces the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in a plant as an early defense response as well as other markers such as elevated concentrations of certain metabolites. Thus, the study aims to measure the changes of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), malondialdehyde (MDA) and total ion leakage in the leaves of coconut trees in responses to RPW infestation. Two coconut cultivars, ‘MATAG’ and ‘PANDAN’ (2½ years old) were introduced to 10 individuals of RPWs for 28 days. The H2O2, MDA and total ion leakage were assayed on 0, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days of infestation. The ‘MATAG’ cultivar showed higher H2O2 concentration at day 21. As for the ‘PANDAN’ cultivar, the H2O2 concentration was constant at day 0 up to day 14 and drastically declined at day 21. However, the reverse trend was observed in control plants. MDA concentration was enhanced in ‘MATAG’ and ‘PANDAN’ after day 0 to 14 days and declined afterwards. Percentage of total ion leakage was dropped after 14 days of experiment in ‘MATAG’ cultivar. However, infested ‘PANDAN’ cultivar slowly induced the percentage of total ion leakage after 21 days of treatments. The results revealed that these oxidative stress markers responded differently on every stages of infestation. ‘MATAG’ cultivar produced higher amount of H2O2, lipid peroxidation and total ion leakage compared to ‘PANDAN’ cultivar especially at 21 days of experiment. It is suggested that ‘PANDAN’ cultivar is more tolerance against RPW infestation compared to ‘MATAG’ cultivar. However, longer incubation period is required for further evaluation on the early responses of both cultivars against the infestation by RPW.

Key words: Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, coconut tree, hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxidation, ion leakage


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