A team of Saskatoon researchers has found that Camelina seems to naturally resist 5 common insect pests that often plague the Canola crop.

The study, published in The Canadian Entomologist, found that Camelina suffered little feeding damage from various crucifer-feeding flea beetles, root maggots or diamondback moths.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers reported that diamondback moths laid fewer eggs on Camelina leaves than they did on Canola leaves. Diamondback moth larvae also consumed less Camelina leaf tissue and tended to have a longer developmental period on Camelina compared with Canola.

“Larvae of the bertha armyworm had similar feeding levels on Camelina and Canola but there was a longer developmental period from larval to pupal stage and pupae weighed less when fed on Camelina foliage, suggesting that Camelina contains antibiosis factors against bertha armyworm,” they said.

Two strains of aster yellows phytoplasma were found in Camelina [but] “the findings confirm that Camelina is unlikely to support high populations of these insect pests on the Canadian prairies.”

And earlier study, referenced in the biology document on Camelina published by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (which has approved use of Camelina meal for feeding broiler chickens) found that Camelina’s resistance to various pests “appears to be due to the absence of stimulatory cues as opposed to the presence of a repellent.”

An abstract of the most recent research article, Interactions between Camelina sativa (Brassicaceae) and insect pests of Canola, by Juliana Soroka, Chrystel Oliviera, Larry Grenkow and Ginette Séguin-Swartz can be found here.

The findings of the research team further supports on-the-ground evidence in the Peace River region in 2014 when the canola crop was decimated by the striped flea beetle while the Camelina crop was virtually ignored by the same pest.

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