Adult insects of the Order Lepidoptera, which have large membranous wings, covered in scales that often confer colours that constitute a superb camouflage. At rest, the wings are folded over the body, with the upper surfaces outward, for purposes of concealment. Unlike butterflies, moths normally use scents (called pheromones), rather than wing colours, as sex attractants. The fore-wings are larger than the hind wings. The long, slender antennae, are often feather-like. The young stages are known as caterpillars or grubs, and many are serious parasites of crops. The sucking mouth part (proboscis) of the adult moth is usually a coiled tube, and is used for extracting nectar from flowers. Mottle

In plant pathology, many virus diseases are called 'mottle'. This term is also applied to the symptoms of these viruses, which produce a leaf mottling of normal and abnormal colouration. There is little difference between a mottle and a mosaic. Mould

The term has three meanings in agriculture. First, in the sense of 'mouldy', meaning stored products damaged by fungi, usually resulting from too high a moisture content. Second, some fungal plant diseases are called 'mould', particularly when the fungus is visible as a furry growth on the diseased tissues. Third, soil that is high in organic matter is often called 'mould'. Mtata

See: Sorghum bicolor. Muck

1. Muck soils, consisting entirely of highly decomposed plant material. 2. Farmyard manure. Mulberry

See: Morus spp. Mulch

A covering spread over soil with a view to conserving soil moisture, protecting crop roots, controlling weeds, encouraging beneficial soil organisms, and adding nutrients to the soil. Mulch usually consists of dead plant material such as straw, old leaves, bark, or cereal husks and chaff. An ornamental mulch of crushed stone is now fashionable for flower beds and potted plants. A plastic mulch, consisting of polyethylene film, can be useful for weed control, or as a means of heating the soil, with the greenhouse effect, in order to kill soil-borne parasites of crops. However, stone and plastic mulches do not add nutrients to the soil. Mulching can also help soil conservation. Multiline

A crop population which consists of a mixture of several pure lines that are morphologically very similar, but each of which has a different vertical resistance. The idea of the multiline is to introduce a diversity of vertical resistances into an otherwise genetically uniform cultivar. In practice, a multiline is normally useful only if there is a single species of parasite to be controlled, because a multiplicity of different parasites cannot easily be controlled in this way. Multi-locational testing

The testing of cultivar in a wide range of agro-ecosystems with a view to identifying those with a wide environmental adaptability. This approach is useful with vertical resistance, but is inappropriate with the concept of comprehensive horizontal resistance, which usually limits a cultivar to a single agro-ecosystem.

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