Southwestern corn borer,Diatraea grandiosella Dyar (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), is a major insect pest of corn,Zea mays L., in the southern United States. Germplasm lines with resistance to southwestern corn borer have been developed and released by the USDA–ARS. Two single-cross hybrids produced by crossing germplasm lines with resistance to southwestern corn borer and a susceptible single-cross hybrid were infested with southwestern corn borer larvae in a 2-yr field test conducted in Mississippi. The susceptible hybrid sustained significantly more leaf damage and stalk tunneling than either resistant hybrid. The number of tunnels and the length of tunneling were significantly lower on the resistant hybrids. In 2003, up to 15 times more tunneling was observed on the susceptible hybrid. Larvae feeding on the resistant hybrids were delayed in their movement from the whorl to the stalk and larval survival was 50% lower on the resistant hybrids than on the susceptible hybrid. Larvae recovered from the susceptible hybrid 7–14 d after infestation weighed twice as much as those recovered from the resistant hybrids. Similar differences in larval weight were observed in the laboratory when larvae were reared on diets prepared from lyophilized tissue from the three hybrids. These results provide a foundation for other investigations designed to identify and determine the roles of specific genes and gene families associated with southwestern corn borer resistance in corn.
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Vol. 100 • No. 3