Genetic resistance of new popcorn hybrids to foliar diseases.
The level of genetic resistance to foliar diseases in 54 new simple popcorn hybrids was evaluated in field conditions. Two trials in a randomized complete block design were conducted in the 2006/07 growing season. The disease intensity in genotypes was compared by the area under the disease progress curve, expressing the severity. Significant differences (P≤0.01) of resistance to southern rust (Puccinia polysora) northern leaf blight (Exserohilum turcicum) and Phaeosphaeria leaf spot (complex Phaeosphaeria maydis/Pantoea ananas) were observed. The cluster analysis detected different resistance levels to the series of leaf diseases. In 12 of the new hybrids the resistance level to the set of diseases was similar as in the commercial hybrid IAC 112, considered the best reference for leaf disease resistance among commercial popcorn genotypes.