Sitophilus zeamais has been identified as one of the most destructive pests of maize stored in tropical regions. While most maize hybrids are being developed, it is necessary to evaluate their resistance to this pest. This study determined the resistance of selected maize hybrids to infestation by S. zeamais. Twenty two hybrids with varying resistance to weevil infestation and two checks DUMA 41-suceptible and MTP0701-resistant were used in a randomized complete block design experiment. Assessment was done at 10, 60 and 120 days of maize storage. Data was collected on percent weevil damage, grain weight loss and number of live and dead weevils. Heritability and correlation of factors were also estimated. Analysis of variance showed significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) on weight loss. The selection of the resistant genotypes was based on percent weight loss after 60 days. KH631Q and PH4 were selected as the most resistant and moderately resistant hybrids, respectively. The resistant check MTPO701 was also found to maintain resistance to weevil attack. There was a strong positive correlation between weight loss, number of live weevils and percent damage. Moderate heritability estimates of hybrids at 60 days of storage indicated the possibility of their parents to transfer the desirable traits to subsequent generations. Therefore, parents of the resistant hybrids could be utilized in breeding programs for maize weevil resistance and be deployed to farmers for use, respectively.
Key words: Hybrid, maize, post-harvest, resistance, Sitophilus zeamais.
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