Plant resistance is a useful component of integrated pest management for several insects that are economically damaging to maize, Zea mays L. In this study, 15 experimental lines of maize derived from a backcross breeding program were evaluated for resistance to corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie); fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith); southwestern corn borer, Diatraea grandiosella Dyar; and sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F.). Experimental line 100-R-3 was resistant in the field to leaf feeding by fall armyworm and line 116-B-10 was resistant in the field to leaf feeding by fall armyworm and leaf and stalk feeding by southwestern corn borer. When corn earworm larvae were fed field harvested silks from experimental line 81-9-B in the laboratory, their pupal weights were significantly lower than the pupal weights of larvae that were fed silks from the resistant control, Zapalote Chico. Maysin levels lower than those commonly associated with corn earworm resistance were present in the resistant experimental line, 107-8-7, indicating a new basis confers resistance to corn earworm in this line. These resistant experimental lines will provide plant breeders with new sources of resistance to lepidopterous insects for the development of improved maize breeding populations.
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Vol. 93 • No. 3