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EMERGENT LIFE SCIENCES RESEARCH - Vol 9, Issue 2, Published on 31, December 2023

Pages: 349-355
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Evaluation of maize germplasm for physio-morphological traits against fall armyworm

Author: M. A. Prajwal Gowda, J. C. Sekhar, P. L. Soujanya, K. R. Yathish, S. J. Rahman, B. Mallaiah, D. Akhilandeshwari

Category: Research Article


The fall armyworm (FAW), scientific name Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), poses a significant challenge to farmers and agricultural systems due to its ability to adapt, reproduce rapidly, and develop resistance to pesticides. Hence, it is essential to adopt effective and feasible approaches to managing FAW. The present research aimed at identifying the physio-morphological traits in 22 diverse maize genotypes that influence resistance to FAW. Among the tested ones, moderately resistant genotypes had the highest trichome density (CML 71, CML 67, and CML 335), minimum leaf area, and leaf width (DMRE 63, CML 71, and CML 67). Moderately resistant genotypes, viz., CML 67 (0.14 mm), CML 71 (0.14 mm), CML 561 (0.14 mm), and DMRE 63 (0.14 mm), exhibited significantly higher leaf toughness. Furthermore, the lowest relative water content was recorded in moderately resistant genotypes (DMRE 63, CML 71, and CML 67). The maximum cob length was observed in the moderately resistant genotype, CML 71 (18.56 cm), followed by CML 67 (18.26 cm), which was on par. Among moderately resistant genotypes, CML 71 had the greatest cob width of 4.97 cm, followed by CML 67 (4.88 cm), CML 561 (4.66 cm), CML 335 (4.66 cm), and DMRE 63 (4.62 cm), and these were statistically comparable. Of the genotypes evaluated, the moderately resistant genotypes CML 71, CML 67, and DMRE 63 registered significantly higher yields of 135.04 g/plant, 120.65 g/plant, and 117.92 g/plant, respectively. This information on physio-morphological traits is helpful in breeding programs focusing on maize resistance to FAW.

Keywords: leaf area, leaf length, leaf width, leaf trichomes, resistant cultivars, relative water content