The effects of planting date in combination with transgenic maize hybrids on fusarium ear rot severity following European corn borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) injury

Motshwari Obopile, Ronald B Hammond, Pierce A. Paul



A three year study was conducted at Hoytville and Wooster, Ohio from 2006 to 2008 to find out how sequential planting of transgenic and non-transgenic maize influence fusarium ear rot of maize.  Maize hybrids with different maturities (short vs. full season) with and without Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) gene were planted on different dates on late April/early May, mid-May and early June each year.  The severity of ear rot caused by Fusarium fungal species were compared among planting dates and between Bt and non-Bt genotypes of different relative maturity ratings.  The ear damage by European corn borer was significantly correlated with severity of Fusarium ear rot.  Transgenic Bt maize had lower severity of Fusarium ear rots compared with non-Bt hybrids.  Where the interaction between planting date and hybrid treatment was significant, the benefit of using Bt hybrids to reduce fusarium ear rot was more evident on late than early planted crops.

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