Genetic variability affecting Exserohilum turcicum resistance in popcorn lines grown under high and low phosphorus conditions.
Northern leaf blight (NLB), caused by Exserohilum turcicum, is one of the main foliar diseases that affect popcorn culture. Farmers use many control measures to minimize damage caused by this disease, among which, the use of cultivars with genetic resistance is the most effective and economical. The aim of this study was to investigate genetic variability influencing resistance to NLB in 25 popcorn maize lines grown under high and low phosphorus conditions in relation to foliar fungal disease caused by E. turcicum. We evaluated the disease incidence and severity, by analysis of variance and cluster test (Scott-Knott). There was sufficient genetic variability between strains for resistance traits. Genotypic variance was higher than environmental variance, and had more discriminatory power. We conclude that new progenies could be selected for the establishment of future populations. P-7, P-9, L-59, L-71, and L-76 progenies possess promising characteristics that simultaneously reduce the severity and the incidence of NLB in popcorn plants.