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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 40 No. 4, p. 948-954
    Received: July 19, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): jdudley@uiuc.edu
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Identification of Tropical and Temperate Maize Populations Having Favorable Alleles for Disease Resistance

  1. Aldi Kraja,
  2. John W. Dudley * and
  3. Donald G. White
  1. Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 USA


A possible use of nonelite germplasm is as a source of alleles for disease resistance. Our objective was to determine the value of tropical and temperate maize (Zea mays L.) germplasm accessions as sources of alleles to improve disease resistance of the Corn Belt hybrid FR1064 × LH185. A group of tropical populations and hybrids from the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize Project (GEM) crossed to either Mo17 or B73 (temperate inbreds), was studied. In addition, a group of temperate accessions was evaluated. Reaction to southern corn leaf blight (SCLB) [Bipolaris maydis (Nisikado & Miyake) Shoemaker = Helminthosporium maydis Nisikado & Miyake], northern corn leaf spot (NCLS) [Bipolaris zeicola (G. L. Stout) Shoemaker = Helminthosporium carbonum Ullstrup Races 2 and 3], gray leaf spot (GLS) (Cercospora zeae-maydis Tehon & E.Y. Daniels), northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) [Exserohilum turcicum (Pass.) K. J. Leonard & E. G. Suggs = Helminthosporium turcicum Pass., Races 1, 1, 2, 23N and three unidentified races] and common rust (Puccinia sorghi Schwein) was studied using Dudley's method for identifying populations with favorable alleles. All accessions had favorable dominant alleles for resistance not present in FR1064 × LH185 for common rust, GLS, and SCLB. Four accessions had a number of favorable alleles for resistance not significantly different from the best accession for all five diseases. Crosses of the accessions containing Mo17 to FR1064 and LH185 were less susceptible to SCLB, NCLB, and rust than crosses of accessions containing B73. At least seven of the best 10 populations were tropical × Mo17 crosses for SCLB, NCLB, and rust when populations were ranked for presence of favorable alleles for resistance not present in either LH185 or FR1064. Net value statistics for tropical × B73 and tropical × Mo17 accessions differed in indicating whether backcrossing or selfing from the F1 is more desirable. Therefore, if tropical populations are crossed to Corn Belt inbreds to increase adaptation, comparisons among tropical populations should only be made when all populations being compared have been crossed to the same Corn Belt inbred.

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