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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Global Change and Photosynthesis Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #274516

Title: Interactions between maize dwarf mosaic and weed interference on sweet corn

item Williams, Martin
item PATAKY, JERALD - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: Field Crops Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/13/2011
Publication Date: 12/15/2011
Citation: Williams, M.M. II, Pataky, J.K. 2011. Interactions between maize dwarf mosaic and weed interference on sweet corn. Field Crops Research. 128:48-54.

Interpretive Summary: Diseases and weed interference are two types of stresses that affect sweet corn production; however, little is known about how their combination affects the crop. Using maize dwarf mosaic (MDM) as a representative disease, and wild-proso millet to create weed interference, field studies were conducted to understand how the combination of these stresses affect sweet corn growth, development, and yield. The studies revealed that MDM incidence delayed crop growth and development, with weed interference adding to that delay. Both stresses interacted in their affect on crop yield, with the result depending largely on sweet corn hybrid. The impact is in demonstrating that improvements in sweet corn tolerance to weed interference has practical benefit even when the crop is stressed by an MDM epidemic.

Technical Abstract: Maize dwarf mosaic (MDM) and weed interference are two economically important stresses to sweet corn; however, a fundamental understanding of the extent to which the crop is affected by combinations of these stresses is lacking. The objective of this study was to quantify the extent to which MDM incidence and weed interference influence the sweet corn canopy, phenological development, and yield. In field research, five levels of MDM incidence (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% of the plant population) were established in two sweet corn hybrids that also were grown in the presence or absence of wild-proso millet. During the vegetative phase of crop growth, the crop’s ability to tolerate these multiple stresses was largely additive. For instance, incidence of MDM decreased crop growth and delayed development by as much as five days, and wild-proso millet added to those detrimental effects by an extent that was determined by the severity of weed interference. In contrast during the reproductive phase, MDM incidence and weed interference interacted in their effect on the crop. Moreover, differences in hybrid responses to the multiple stresses indicated that the benefit of improved crop tolerance to weed interference was not lost when the crop is infected with MDM. Use of hybrids with high levels of MDM resistance and improved competitive ability with weeds reduces the risk of losses from MDM and weed interference, two commonly occurring stresses in sweet corn.