Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2018, 6(4), 170-177
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-6-4-5
Open AccessArticle

Comparing the Effectiveness of the “weevil warehouse” and “laboratory bioassay” as Techniques for Screening Maize Genotypes for Weevil Resistance

Lwanga Charles Kasozi1, 2, , John Derera1, Pangirayi Tongoona1, Simon Zziwa2, 3, Abubaker Muwonge2, Edmore Gasura4 and David Bergvinson5

1School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X 01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa

2National Crops Resources Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Organisation, P.O. BOX 7084 Kampala, Uganda

3College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. BOX 7062 Kampala, Uganda

4Department of Crop Science, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. BOX MP167, Mt Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe

5Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, P.O. Box 23350, WA 98102, USA

Pub. Date: December 14, 2018

Cite this paper:
Lwanga Charles Kasozi, John Derera, Pangirayi Tongoona, Simon Zziwa, Abubaker Muwonge, Edmore Gasura and David Bergvinson. Comparing the Effectiveness of the “weevil warehouse” and “laboratory bioassay” as Techniques for Screening Maize Genotypes for Weevil Resistance. Journal of Food Security. 2018; 6(4):170-177. doi: 10.12691/jfs-6-4-5


The maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky), causes devastating post-harvest grain losses, especially in tropical countries. Development of weevil resistant maize hybrids requires a rapid, inexpensive but effective screening method which can easily be incorporated in a maize breeding program without any advanced training in entomology. The current study compared the efficacy of weevil warehouse which is a kind of free-choice test with laboratory bioassay following a no-choice test, for discriminating maize genotypes into different weevil resistance/susceptibility classes. Fourteen maize genotypes were simultaneously screened using the weevil warehouse and the laboratory bioassay techniques. Results from both shelled grain and suspended ears under weevil warehouse assessments were compared with those from laboratory bioassay technique. Grain damage and grain weight loss were measured. High levels of consistency were detected during grouping of maize genotypes. The shelled grain option of the weevil warehouse and the laboratory bioassay screening methods were equally effective towards discriminating maize genotypes for their response to weevil attack (CVs of 7.1% vs 6.5% for grain damage and 12% vs 13% for grain weight loss, respectively). Therefore, the “weevil warehouse” technique, which is simple, inexpensive, time saving and precise would be recommended for rapid screening of maize germplasm for maize weevil resistance.

weevil screening method weevil warehouse grain resistance

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