Mid-parent heterosis and combining ability of European corn borer resistance in maize

Elizabeth M. Lamb, David W. Davis, David A. Andow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Success in breeding maize resistant to the European corn borer has been limited, with the exception of leaf feeding resistance. The inheritance of resistance to leaf, sheath-collar and ear damage in four maize germplasms and their six F1 crosses was evaluated by diallel analysis. Plants in a completely randomized design were artificially infested at the whorl, anthesis or full silk stage of plant development and were evaluated in the field for insect damage. A damage index based on size, number and location of lesions was calculated for each stage. Stowell's Evergreen (susceptible) had a mean damage index three to six times that of Maiz Amargo (resistant) at the whorl stage and the progeny plants were more resistant than the susceptible parent. Maiz Amargo and its crosses had significantly lower mean indices than Stowell's Evergreen for sheath-collar damage in Year 1 but not Year 2. Zapalote Chico, Maiz Amargo and their cross were significantly less damaged than other genotypes at the full silk stage. Heterosis values indicated an increase in resistance of crosses over the midparent average at all three stages of development. General combining ability (GCA) was highly significant for all types of damage, but specific combining ability was significant only for leaf damage. Based on estimates of GCA, Maiz Amargo was the best source of resistance to leaf and sheath-collar damage and both Zapalote Chico and Maiz Amargo would be good parents for ear damage resistance. Results suggest that resistance at different plant development stages can be combined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1993


  • European corn borer
  • Ostrinia nubilalis
  • Zea mays
  • diallel analysis
  • host plant resistance
  • maize
  • plant breeding


Dive into the research topics of 'Mid-parent heterosis and combining ability of European corn borer resistance in maize'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this