Crops that are resistant to pests and pathogens are cost-effective for the management of pests and diseases. A corn (Zea mays L.) breeding program conducted in Hawaii has identified a source of heritable resistance to maize mosaic virus (MMV) (Rhabdoviridae: Nucleorhabdovirus). This resistance is controlled by the gene Mv, which has been shown to have a codominant action. To date, no studies have examined whether the resistance associated with this gene affects only MMV or whether it also affects the insect vector, the corn planthopper Peregrinus maidis (Ashmead) (Hemiptera: Delphacidae). Here, we examined the life history of the corn planthopper and its ability to transmit MMV on near isogenic lines that were homozygous dominant (Mv/Mv), homozygous recessive (mv/mv), or heterozygous (Mv/mv) for the gene. A field trial was also conducted to study the colonization of the corn plants with different genotypes by the planthopper. Although field observations revealed slightly lower densities of planthoppers on corn with the genotype Mv/Mv than on the inbreds with the genotype mvlmv and their hybrids with the genotype Mvlmv, laboratory assays showed no effects of the gene on planthopper development, longevity, or fecundity. In the field, the corn lines Mv/Mv had a lower incidence of MMV-infected plants. However, in the greenhouse, the transmission of MMV to corn seedlings did not differ across the near isogenic lines, although the corn lines Mv/Mv showed a delayed onset of symptoms compared with the corn lines mvlmv and Mvlmv. The acquisition of MMV by corn planthoppers on the corn genotypes Mv/Mv and Mvlmv averaged 0.2, whereas the acquisition on the corn genotypes mvlmv averaged >0.3. Our results show that the Mv gene does not influence the fitness of the planthopper vector, suggesting that it may confer resistance by other means, possibly by limiting virus replication or movement within the host plant.
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Vol. 106 • No. 4