Effect of Moisture Stress at Different Stages of Growth I. Comparison of a Single-Eared and a Two-Eared Corn Hybrid1
- D. L. Barnes and
- D. G. Woolley2
Single-eared (Hy × C103) and two-eared (R71 × B60) corn (Zea mays L) hybrids were grown with their roots confined in 8− ✕ −24-inch plastic-lined, soil-filled trenches. They were subjected to equally severe moisture stress at tassel emergence, silking-pollination and blister kernel stages. The two-eared variety was more tolerant to moisture stress at the pollination and blister kernel stages than the single-eared variety. There was no significant difference in the total grain yield of the varieties to the moisture stress at tassel emergence. Silking was delayed in both varieties during moisture stress at pollination; however, this delay in silking did not reduce the fertilization of the ears and the grain yields of the two-eared variety as much as the single-eared variety.
The two-eared variety extracted significantly more water (1–2%) from the soil when under moisture stress.
A method for measuring the relative turgidity (RT) of the leaves of the corn plants was developed, and the RT of each leaf on the corn plant was different. The RT decreases from apex to base, with each succeeding leaf. Moisture-stressed corn plants had RT values 18 percent lower in the leaves near the ear shoot than in the leaves near the tassel. This difference in RT could account for the lack of silk emergence while the tassels continned to shed pollen.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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