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Weight Loss of Mature Corn Stalk Tissue Induced by Twelve Fungi. J. O. Amosu, Research Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801; A. L. Hooker, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801. Phytopathology 60:1790-1793. Accepted for publication 16 July 1970. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-60-1790.

The capability of 12 fungi to cause decay in mature corn stalks of four single crosses harvested at two dates was investigated using a modified culture media technique developed to study wood rots. Decomposition was measured by dry weight changes during treatment. The single crosses differed in their abilities to resist decay by various organisms. The differences were inconsistent between sampling dates and among organisms. Diplodia maydis and Gibberella zeae, organisms that commonly cause stalk rots of living corn plants, were less effective than Trichoderma viride, Penicillium urticae, and Helminthosporium pedicellatum in decomposing dead stalk tissue. In nature, these latter organisms and others may play a significant role in causing loss of stalk strength and thereby increase lodging.

Additional keywords: corn stalk rot, Zea mays, saprophytic decay.