Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Martin L. Carson


Considerable progress has been made in improving the standability of corn (tea mays L.). Further improvement of stalk lodging resistance is still necessary because of increased plant populations and fertilizer inputs. Also, with increased yields and rising drying costs, late season stalk strength will become even more important in the future. Stalk rots are the most important diseases of corn in the U.S. corn belt and associated lodging leads to losses in yield and quality. The most economical way to minimize losses is to improve stalk lodging resistance. However, lodging is subject to substantial genotype x environment interaction. Stalk quality traits highly correlated with stalk lodging would be helpful in a selection program because they allow the plant breeder to select for stalk lodging resistance independent of the environment. Progress in any plant breeding program depends on genetic variability in the germplasm and the effectiveness of selection. The breeder is interested in populations with a high mean performance and information on the nature and magnitude of genetic variation present. Knowledge of genetic correlations among traits is important in plant breeding when two or more traits are concerned. Few genetic studies have been conducted to investigate the relative importance of stalk rot resistance as compared to stalk quality traits and their effects on stalk lodging. The objectives of this study were: 1) obtain estimates of genetic and phenotypic variances and covariances for stalk quality characteristics, stalk rot resistance, and agronomic traits in SDPP maize synthetic; 2) calculate heritabilities for these traits; 3) investigate genetic and phenotypic correlations between stalk lodging, stalk quality traits, and stalk rot resistance; and 4) examine the suitability of stalk quality characteristics and stalk rot resistance as selection criteria to improve stalk lodging resistance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Corn -- Diseases and pests

Corn -- Genetics




Number of Pages



South Dakota State University