Two field experiments were conducted in 1995–1996 to determine if there are common yield responses among maize hybrids to larval western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte injury. Three yellow dent hybrids, five white food grade dent hybrids, and a popcorn hybrid were included in the study. The minimum level of rootworm injury as measured by root damage ratings (3.2–4.2) that significantly reduced yield was similar across the hybrids included in the study. However, the pattern of yield response to different rootworm injury levels varied among hybrids. This suggests that maize hybrids may inherently differ in their ability to tolerate rootworm injury and partition biomass in response to injury and other stresses. The complex interaction among hybrid, level of injury, and other stresses suggests that a common western corn rootworm injury–yield relationship may not exist within maize.
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Vol. 94 • No. 1