Comparison of Screening Techniques for Western Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Host-Plant Resistance

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The western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, is one of the most economically important insect pests of corn, Zea mays L. Many different techniques have been developed for western corn rootworm host-plant resistance screening, but little has been done to compare the reliability and repeatability of these techniques. Seventeen maize cultivars were evaluated for field adult emergence, vertical pulling resistance, and field/greenhouse root feeding damage to determine the optimal method or combination of methods to more quickly reach the goal of corn rootworm resistance in corn. A rootworm host-search behavior bioassay was also conducted. Rank correlation of root damage field performance among the 17 cultivars was found between locations in both 1996 and 1997. Greenhouse root damage experiments generally did not correlate to each other or to field locations. There was no correlation in percentage reduction of pulling force in infested versus noninfested rows between 1997 paired-row pulling trials to other experiments. There was no correlation of field root damage performance in 1996 or 1997 to the 3 bioassay parameters tested: area searched, distance traveled, or number of path crossovers. It appears that the rootworm host-search behavior bioassay will not be useful in differentiating hosts within a species, and greenhouse damage ratings are questionable when comparing germplasm with limited resistance. Field damage ratings should be the primary test before resistance claims are made.

Keywords: Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; adult emergence; host plant resistance; root damage

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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