Original Articles

Breeding for resistance to ear rot of maize, caused by Stenocarpella maydis (Berk) Sutton. 1. Evaluation of selection criteria

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 19, issue 4, 2002 , pages: 182–187
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2002.10634462
Author(s): J.D. Rossouw, South Africa, J., B.J. van Rensburg, South Africa, C.S. van DeventerDepartment of Plant Breeding, South Africa

Abstract

The objective of this study was to provide a better understanding of the interrelationship between methods of screening for resistance to ear rot, caused by Stenocarpella maydis. The inheritance of resistance as well as genetic and phenotypic correlation of various selection criteria were investigated. A complete diallel cross of 10 inbred lines, ranging from resistant to susceptible, was evaluated at each of three localities, representative of different environments within the South African maize production area. Plants were artificially inoculated twice during the vegetative stages of plant development. Resistance to ear rot was found to be controlled by additive gene effects, with low dominance and interaction effects. Significant genetic correlations existed between various characteristics relating to disease incidence, with high heritability and highly correlated responses. The incidence of rotted ears was the most practical and reliable method to select for resistance. However, the simultaneous use of some measurement of kernel infection was necessary to ensure detection of internal ear infection. An increase in the incidence of upright ears was indicated to result from S. maydis infection, rather than that upright ears predisposed ears to the disease.

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