In Mediterranean countries, the principal pest of maize, Zea mays L., is Sesamia nonagrioides Lefebvre. The objective of this work was to study the resistance of the four early maturing varieties of sweet corn, Baby Orchard, Orchard Baby, Dorinny Sweet, and Golden Early Market, and to check the relationship among resistance to S. nonagrioides and infestation dates. In a previous study, these varieties had showed a confusing behavior, being the most resistant varieties to S. nonagrioides attack in some environments and the most susceptible in others. These varieties were again evaluated along with three medium maturing varieties, used as testers because they were more stable in both environments, by using two infestation dates. Plants were more damaged in the late infestation, but the effect of the infestation depends on the variety studied. Orchard Baby and Baby Orchard were the most resistant varieties under two infestation dates. These two varieties are closely related. Therefore, we can use either one as a source of precocity and resistance for modern sweet corn. Although many studies showed that early maturing inbreds had greater damage caused by S. nonagrioides and European corn borer than late maturing inbreds and hybrids, our results showed that the earliest maturing varieties were the most resistant.
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Vol. 97 • No. 4