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  1. Vol. 44 No. 3, p. 711-717
     
    Received: Feb 18, 2003
    Published: May, 2004


    * Corresponding author(s): darrahl@missouri.edu
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2004.7110

Divergent Selection for Rind Penetrometer Resistance and Its Effects on European Corn Borer Damage and Stalk Traits in Corn

  1. Sheri A. Martina,
  2. Larry L. Darrah *b and
  3. Bruce E. Hibbardc
  1. a Dep. of Entomology
    b USDA-ARS Plant Genetics Research Unit and Dep. of Agronomy
    c USDA-ARS Plant Genetics Research Unit and Dep. of Entomology, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211

Abstract

Corn (Zea mays L.) grain yield is affected by a number of factors, including stalk lodging and pests such as the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner; ECB). European corn borers contribute to stalk lodging and also cause a direct grain 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 (MoSCSSS) was selected for stalk strength by using a rind penetrometer. Twelve cycles of bidirectional 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 grain 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 grain 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.

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