Stalk and Ear Diseases in Bt and Non-Bt Corn Hybrids in Northeast Iowa, 2000
Ear rot and stalk rot diseases are not under adequate control by direct genetic resistance in corn hybrids, and cultural or chemical control methods do not exist or are not effective. Because infection by ear- and stalk-rotting fungi sometimes occurs through European corn borer (ECB) injury, there is a potential to reduce infection through the use of Bt hybrids, which are resistant to ECB. In previous research, we have shown that Fusarium ear rot, caused by Fusarium moniliforme and Fusarium proliferatum, is reduced in Bt hybrids with the YieldGard genes. We also found that the primary mycotoxins produced by these fungi, fumonisins, were significantly lower in the Bt hybrids. In 2000, we sought to add to our data on the potential benefits of using Bt hybrids for management of Fusarium ear rot and corn stalk rots.