A 2-yr study was conducted to evaluate the tillering and yield response of rice, Oryza sativa L., whose culms were injured artificially or by larval sugarcane borers, Diatraea saccharalis (F.). Artificially injured plants produced ≈0.49 more tillers than uninjured plants, similar to what has previously been reported for larval injured plants. In contrast, artificial injury did not affect yield per tiller, whereas larval injury did. The proximity of larval injury to the panicle had a negative impact on tiller yield, whereas artificial injury did not. Artificial injury apparently resulted in less injury to vascular tissue than did sugarcane borer larval injury. Until an artificial method of injury is developed that mimics the effects of larval feeding, further injury studies will continue to require sugarcane borer larvae.
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