Relationship of Root Tensile Strength to Vertical Root Pulling Resistance in Maize
- D. L. Beck,
- L. L. Darrah and
- M. S. Zuber
Vertical root pulling resistance is used to select for improved plant standability in maize (Zea mays L.). Knowledge of the contribution of various root components will lead to better understanding of why plant standability differs among genotypes. Our objective was to study the relationships between vertical root pulling resistance, tensile strength, dry weight, volume, number of large crown roots, and lateral root density. Three hybrids were grown on Freeburg silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, thermic, Aquic Hapludalfs). The hybrid with the greatest vertical root pulling resistance had the greatest tensile strength of thick (≥ 2.1 ram) diameter root sections, root dry weight, volume, and lateral root density. The hybrid with the lowest vertical root pulling resistance had the lowest tensile strength of medium (1.1–2.0 ram) and thick diameter root sections, root dry weight, and volume. Vertical root pulling resistance was most closely related to mass of the root system and the tensile strength of individual roots.
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