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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 5, p. 674-678
    Received: Jan 31, 1972

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Effect of Flooding and Gaseous Composition of the Root Environment on Growth of Corn1

  1. A. C. Purvis and
  2. R. E. Williamson2



The extent of root and shoot injury to corn, Zea mays L., plants exposed to various gaseous treatments (O2, CO2, N2) in the root environment and to flooding were determined from leaf area, stem diameter changes and root and shoot weights. The parameters of growth were measured before treatment, at the end of 1-, 2-, and 4-day treatments, and after a 5-day recovery period following treatment. The plants were grown in an environmental control chamber with roots of one group in an intermittent solution mist in airtight chambers and a second group in soil.

When treated for 1 or 2 days with 1.0% O2 with and without 20.0% CO2, the remainder being N2, only a slight reduction in growth was observed during treatment or recovery. However, treatment with this low level of O2 for 4 days caused a highly significant reduction in growth during treatment and recovery. Treatments with pure N2, 21% CO2 in N2, and flooding for 2 or more days reduced growth during treatment and recovery considerably more than did 1% O2 in N2. When these treatments lasted for 2 or more days, some of the lower leaves and a portion of the root system died. Flooding the soil caused somewhat less injury than did treatments with pure N2 or 21% CO~ in N2, possibly because some air was entrapped. Corn is severely injured if flooded or if the roots are in a zero O2 atmosphere for more than 1 day.

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