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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Soil Water Supply and Depletion Pattern Differentiate among Zea, mays L. Single- and Double-Cross Hybrids1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 3, p. 416-422
    Received: Dec 9, 1968

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  1. R. R. Bruce,
  2. J. O. Sanford,
  3. C. O. Grogan and
  4. D. L. Myhre2



The relationship of irrigation response of several double- and singe-cross Zea mays L. hybrids to inbred line composition and effectiveness in supplying the plant water requirements from the soil water supply was investigated. An experiment involving 25 double-cross hybrids showed that 16 of these hybrids gave a 10% or greater grain yield response to irrigation, whereas the remainder showed very little or no yield increase. Certain hybrids produced about as well without irrigation as the highest yielding irrigation-responsive hybrids. Subsequent experiments examined the irrigation response of several single-cross hybrids and their double-cross products. In a season of severe drouth requiring major irrigation, yield response of the double-cross products to irrigation was predicted very well by averaging the yield response of the four non-parental single crosses of the four inbreds involved.

Examination of the soil water depletion pattern of single-cross hybrids has shown that the yields are related to the capability of the plant to meet its water requirements during the critical fruiting period from existing soil water supply. Cited as examples are the cytoplasmic male-sterile versions of several single crosses which rather consistently yield better than their fertile counterparts.

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