Two corn borer species are the principal maize insect pests in Europe, the European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), and the pink stem borer, Sesamia nonagrioides (Lefebvre). Hence, it would be advisable to evaluate the European maize germplasm for corn borer resistance to generate European varieties resistant to corn borer attack. The creation of the European Union Maize Landrace Core Collection (EUMLCC) allowed the screening of most of the variability for European corn borer resistance present among European maize local populations from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, testing a representative sample. The objective of this study was the evaluation of stem and ear resistance of the EUMLCC to European corn borer and pink stem borer attack. Trials were made at two Spanish locations that represent two very different maize-growing areas. Populations that performed relatively well under corn borer infestation for stem and ear damage were ‘PRT0010008’ and ‘GRC0010085’, among very early landraces; ‘PRT00100120’ and ‘PRT00100186’, among early landraces; ‘GRC0010174’, among midseason landraces; and ‘ESP0070441’, among late landraces. Either the selection that could have happen under high insect pressure or the singular origin of determined maize populations would be possible explanations for the higher corn borer resistance of some landraces. Landraces ‘PRT0010008’, ‘FRA0410090’, ‘PRT00100186’, and ‘ESP0090214’ would be selected to constitute a composite population resistant to corn borers and adapted to short season, whereas populations ‘ESP0090033’, ‘PRT00100530’, ‘GRC0010174’, and ‘ITA0370005’ would be used to make a resistant composite adapted to longer season.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2