Effect of Larvae of Western Com Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and of Mechanical Root Pruning on Sap Flow and Growth of Com

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Little infonnation is available on the growth response of com, Zea mays L., to either mechanical root injury or infestation by western com rootwonn, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte. Studies were conducted in the greenhouse to detennine growth and sap /low rates in com when known proportions of the root system were damaged by mechanical root pruning and infestations of com rootwonn larvae. Com was transplanted into boxes that divided the roots into four sections. Roots in various sections were mechanically pruned or infested with 100 neonate larvae of the western com rootwonn. Sap /low was measured using a heat balance technique, and root and shoot growth were measured. Mechanical pruning of roots decreased sap /low, fresh and dry weight of stalks and roots, and plant height. Infesting roots with rootwonn larvae did not significantly affect sap flow, fresh or dry weight of stalks, or plant height. Fresh and dry weighs of roots were reduced in boxes infested with rootwonn larvae.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1992

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