Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/28/2003
Publication Date: 5/1/2004
Citation: Martin, S.A., Darrah, L.L., Hibbard, B.E. 2004. Divergent selection for rind penetrometer resistance and its effects on european corn borer damage and stalk traits in corn. Crop Science. 44:711-717. Interpretive Summary: Corn yield is affected by a number of factors including stalk lodging and pests, such as the European corn borer. Stalk lodging accounts for 5 to 25% annual yield losses in the United States. European corn borers contribute to stalk lodging and also cause a direct yield reduction through physiological effects that decrease the plant's ability to produce and translocate photosynthates. We studied i) whether rind penetrometer resistance selection for stalk strength affected second-generation ECB feeding and ii) how rind penetrometer resistance selection changed relative amounts of strengthening compounds in the stalk and their correlation with ECB feeding. With an increase in rind penetrometer resistance, there was a decrease in second-generation ECB tunnel number and lengths. Also, there were increases and decreases in the stalk components as determined by the high or low direction of selection, respectively, with the exception of silica. This indicated that these components play a role in strengthening of the stalk, and may contribute to less feeding by second-generation ECB. This information will be important to corn breeders and other researchers in attempts to increase stalk strength and resistance to the European corn borer.
Technical Abstract: Corn (Zea mays L.) yield is affected by a number of factors including stalk lodging and pests, such as the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hubner, ECB). European corn borers contribute to stalk lodging and also cause a direct yield reduction through physiological effects that decrease the plant's ability to produce and translocate photosynthates. Although much progress has been made in improving standability, stalk lodging remains a major problem, and breeding for stalk lodging resistance continues to be important, especially if it also plays a role in ECB resistance. Missouri Second Cycle Stiff Stalk Synthetic was selected for stalk strength by using a rind penetrometer. Twelve cycles of bi-directional selection have been completed, which has resulted in increased and decreased stalk strength in the high and low directions of selection, respectively. Selected cycles were evaluated for yield, stalk lodging, rind penetrometer resistance, first- and second-generation ECB damage, leaf penetrometer resistance at the whorl stage and anthesis, and stalk traits, including crude fiber, cellulose, lignin, and silica. Evaluation showed a decrease in yield in both directions of selection. Selection for high rind penetrometer resistance was effective at providing resistance to second-generation ECB damage as well as resistance to stalk lodging. Leaf penetrometer resistance was higher in the high direction of selection at whorl stage, but reversed by anthesis where the low direction of selection had higher leaf penetrometer resistance. Crude fiber, cellulose, and lignin increased in the high direction of selection, but silica decreased in the high direction of selection. Significant correlations between the stalk traits analyzed demonstrated that stalk composition was important in providing rind penetrometer resistance, stalk lodging resistance, and second-generation ECB resistance.