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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 5, p. 599-602
    Received: Sept 29, 1971

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Effect of Moisture Stress at Different Stages of Growth: II. Cytoplasmic Male-sterile Corn1

  1. G. B. Vincent and
  2. L. G. Woolley2



The purpose of this study was to determine if the greater stress-tolerance of corn plants with male-sterile cytoplasm was due to their ability to extract, more moisture from the soil and retain it against atmospheric demand. If this is true, it would have significant impact on the water management and adaptation of the corn (Zea mays L.) plant.

An experiment was conducted on Colo silt loam soil in 1967 at Ames, Iowa to compare the effects of moisture stress at different stages of growth on Texas male-sterile cytoplasm (cms) corn hybrids and their normal cytoplasm counterparts.

Grain yields were reduced significantly by a moisture stress imposed at anthesis. Hybrids with cms did not yield differently from their counterparts with normal cytoplasm, but cms hybrids maintained a higher level of leaf turgor when exposed to moisture stress at anthesis. The method used to establish equally severe intensities of stress was the withholding of irrigation water until a minimum level of 75% leaf turgidity was reached. Hybrids with normal cytoplasm withstood 1 day of serious stress during a 3-day period, while hybrids with cms withstood 3 days of serious stress during a 10-day period before reaching the minimum leaf turgidity.

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