Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Regional Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2009
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: not required
Technical Abstract: Ear-colonizing insects and diseases are critical impediments for corn production in the southern US. These pests not only reduce yield but also impose health threat by mycotoxin contamination of human food and animal feed. The Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) Project is collaborative effort of the public and private sector to broaden and enhance the germplasm base. Twenty elite inbred lines developed in Texas and Iowa from the GEM Project were examined in 2007 and 2008. Insect damage to ears and kernels was assessed separately. Ear damage rating assessed feeding by the corn earworm [Helicoverpa zea (Boddie)], and the fall armyworm [Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith)], while kernel damage was assessed by using stink bug (pentatomid)-discolored, maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky)-damaged, and other ear-feeding insect [i.e., sap beetle (Carpophilus spp.), chocolate milkworm (Moodna spp.), and pink scavenger caterpillar, Pyroderces rileyi (Walsingham)]-damaged kernels. The smut infections (Ustilago spp.) were also separated as ear, tassel, and node infections. In addition, ear protection traits (i.e., husk tightness and extension) were also examined. Significant differences among genotypes were detected in all indices for ear and kernel damage and for ear smut infection rate. Natural infection of Aspergillus flavus Link ex Fries was not detected visually in any of these inbreds. The correlation among all damage assessment indices was also examined. Promising multiple insect and smut-resistant inbred lines were identified and discussed, which may be useful for future research and breeding programs in the public and private sectors.