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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Apparatus for Dissecting Stalks to Evaluate Stem Borer Insect Resistance in Maize


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 90 No. 2, p. 233-234
    Received: Aug 1, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s): melchinger@uni-hohenheim.de
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  1. Ralph C. Kreps,
  2. Dietrich Klein and
  3. Albrecht E. Melchinger
  1. Inst. of Plant Breeding, Seed Science and Population Genetics, Univ. of Hohenheim, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany



Measuring tunnel length in stalks is a common method for evaluating resistance against European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner) in maize (Zea mays L.). Infested plants are dissected and tunnel length, attributed to feeding of corn borer larvae, is measured. This is laborious and time-consuming, thus restricting the number of genotypes that can be evaluated for resistance in breeding programs. An apparatus built mostly of polyvinylchloride (PVC) and spring steel was constructed for dissecting maize stalks. Stalks are pushed by hand through the apparatus and are thus split apart. This apparatus dissects the stalk into two equal parts for measuring stem borer resistance in maize and reduces the time spent for splitting a stalk by =50% compared with conventional methods. The cutter ensures no escapes in investigating tunnel lengths.

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