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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGY, MANAGEMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF WEEDY AND INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES IN A CHANGING CLIMATE

Location: Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit

Title: Maize dwarf mosaic in sweet corn contributes to weed growth and seed production

Authors
item Williams, Martin
item Pataky, Jerald -

Submitted to: Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2011
Publication Date: February 3, 2012
Citation: Williams, M., Pataky, J.K. 2012. Maize dwarf mosaic in sweet corn contributes to weed growth and seed production [abstract]. Weed Science Society of America. Paper No. 128.

Technical Abstract: Maize dwarf mosaic (MDM) stunts corn growth, delays development, and is the most prevalent viral disease of sweet corn. Although weeds evade control in most sweet corn fields, the extent to which MDM influences the crop’s weed suppressive ability is unknown. Field studies were conducted over a three-year period to characterize the influence of variable MDM incidence in sweet corn on growth, fecundity, and germinability of wild-proso millet, a common weed in the crop. Treatments included five levels of MDM incidence (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% of plants infected) in two MDM-susceptible hybrids differing in weed suppressive ability. Wild-proso millet biomass and fecundity depended in part on the hybrid in which the weed was growing. For instance, wild-proso millet growing in Sugar Buns weighed 45 to 117% more than wild-proso millet in Legacy. Under high weed population densities, incidence of MDM in sweet corn affected wild-proso millet biomass and fecundity. When wild-proso millet was observed at 122 plants m-2, weed biomass increased nine g m-2 for each additional 10% incidence of MDM of sweet corn. The competitive hybrid (i.e. Legacy) was influenced to the same extent by MDM as the poorly competitive hybrid (i.e. Sugar Buns). Coupled with the fact that two-thirds of commercial sweet corn hybrids have no resistance to MDM, the disease is an additional factor perpetuating weed growth and fecundity in sweet corn, particularly in fields with high weed population densities.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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