Ninety four corn inbred lines selected from International Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat (CIMMYT) in Mexico were evaluated for levels of silk maysin in 2001 and 2002. Damage by major ear-feeding insects [i.e., corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae); maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais (Motschulsky) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae); brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say); southern green stink bugs, Nezara viridula (L.) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae)], and common smut [Ustilago maydis DC (Corda)] infection on these inbred lines were evaluated in 2005 and 2006 under subtropical conditions at Tifton, GA. Ten inbred lines possessing good agronomic traits were also resistant to the corn earworm. The correlation between ear-feeding insect damage or smut infection and three phenotypic traits (silk maysin level, husk extension, and husk tightness of corn ears) was also examined. Corn earworm and stink bug damage was negatively correlated to husk extension, but not to either silk maysin levels or husk tightness. In combination with the best agronomic trait ratings that show the least corn earworm and stink bug damage, lowest smut infection rate, and good insect-resistant phenotypic traits (i.e., high maysin and good husk coverage and husk tightness), 10 best inbred lines (CML90, CML92, CML94, CML99, CML104, CML108, CML114, CML128, CML137, and CML373) were identified from the 94 lines examined. These selected inbred lines will be used for further examination of their resistance mechanisms and development of new corn germplasm that confers multiple ear-colonizing pest resistance.
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Vol. 101 • No. 4