Biotech Updates

Weeds and Diseases Stress Sweet Corn Growth

February 24, 2012

A research study conducted by Marty Williams and Jerald Pataky of the University of Illinois investigated disease and weeds and their interaction on sweet corn growth and development. The results published in the journal Field Crops Research entitled Interactions between maize dwarf mosaic and weed interference on sweet corn discuss how maize dwarf mosaic (MDM) affects sweet corn which is made worse by the invasion of the weed wild-proso millet.

The study revealed that the combination of the disease and the weeds bring too much stress in sweet corn since MDM stunts corn that hinder its ability to capture light. In the presence of weeds, the crops have more difficult time competing for nutrients, water, and light.

Author Williams said "this study gives the sweet corn industry and research community a better understanding of the individual and combined effects these two stresses have on crop growth and yield. The work provides strong incentive for developing hybrids with higher levels of MDM resistance and improved competitive ability with weeds."

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