Relationship between Plant Composition and European Corn Borer Resistance in Three Maize Populations
- B. M. Ostrander and
- J. G. Coors
Breeders have selected for European corn borer [Ostrinia nubilalis (Hubner)] (ECB) resistance for manyears and this may have led to higher concentrations of cell wall carbohydrates and lignin in stalks and leaf sheaths of maize (Zea mays L.). Our objectives were to evaluate the compositional changes accompanying divergent selection for cell wall constituents in three maize populations and to determine whether these changes were associated with changes in ECB resistance. Population BS9(CB) had undergone five cycles of S1 family selection for increased first- and second-generation ECB resistance. Cycle 2 of BS9(CB) also underwent one cycle of divergent S1 selection for neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and lignin concentrations in the stalk and leaf sheath. Populations WFISILO and WFISIHI underwent two cycles of S1 family selection, respectively, for low and high NDF, acid detergent fiber (ADF), and lignin. Whorl samples were collected at the time of first-generation infestation. Stalks, leaf sheaths, and leaf blades were sampled following second-generation infestation. Selection for increased ECB resistance in BS9(CB) increased NDF, ADF, and lignin concentrations in stalks and leaf sheaths. Selection for high NDF and lignin concentrations in BS9(CB) C2 produced materials with greater second-generation ECB resistance than did divergent selection for low concentrations. Selection for decreased NDF, ADF, and lignin in WFISILO decreased second-generation ECB resistance. Selection for increased NDF, ADF, and lignin in WFISIHI did not influence ECB resistance, however. In general, there was an association between plant cell wall composition and ECB resistance, but genetic background influenced the relationship.
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