The effect of diets prepared from whorl tissue of resistant and susceptible corn genotypes, Zea mays L., on the larval growth, development, and physiology of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), was analyzed. Larvae reared on an optimized artificial diet had a higher growth rate and developed faster than those reared on lyophilized whorl tissue from resistant and susceptible genotypes. Larvae reared on the resistant material were smaller and had a longer developmental period. Larvae reared on yellow-green and green whorl sections from resistant plants were significantly smaller than those reared on the same sections of susceptible plants. There was no significant difference in weight when larvae were reared on the yellow whorl regions from either resistant or susceptible lines. Physiological indices were determined for larvae fed resistant and susceptible lyophilized and fresh whorl material. Larvae fed resistant lyophilized material had significantly lower growth rate (GW) and efficiency of conversion of ingested food to body substance (ECI) than those reared on artificial diet or susceptible material. However, there were no significant differences in consumption index (CI), approximate digestibility (AD) and efficiency of conversion of digested food to body substance (ECD) between larvae reared on lyophilized tissue from resistant and susceptible genotypes. Larvae reared on fresh yellow-green whorl sections from resistant plants had significantly lower GW, ECI, and ECD than those reared on susceptible material. In contrast, no significant differences in any of the estimated food consumption and utilization indices were observed between larvae reared on fresh yellow whorl sections from resistant or susceptible plants. These results suggest that some components of whorls from resistant plants, especially the yellow-green region, inhibit food utilization in fall armyworm larvae.
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Vol. 93 • No. 2