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Crop Science Abstract -

Maize Physiological Traits Related to Grain Yield and Harvest Moisture in Mid- to Short-Season Environments


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 34 No. 4, p. 985-992
    Received: May 13, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s): ag2300000@ncccot2.agr.ca
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  1. L. M. Dwyer ,
  2. B. L. Ma,
  3. L. Evenson and
  4. R. I. Hamilton
  1. Plant Res. Centre, Res. Branch, Agric. Canada, Central Expl. Farm., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0C6



Identification of easily measured physiological traits contributing to yield under specified environmental conditions would benefit genotypic selection for maize (Zea mays L.). A field experiment was conducted to determine relationships between grain yield, harvest moisture, the ratio yield/moisture (Y/M), and 10 maize physiological traits related to development time, vegetative growth, and partitioning to the grain. Nine commercial hybrids, representing three maturity classes from 75 to 95 d, were planted at three sites with zonations, based on cornheat units (CHU), corresponding to the three maturity classes within 100 km of Ottawa, Canada (45° 22′ N, 75° 43′ W), in 1988, 1989, and 1990. Grain yield and harvest moisture were related to hybrid maturity; i.e., late maturity hybrids produced high yields with high grain moisture, but traits related to development time alone did not predict yield and moisture. Traits most highly correlated with grain yield and Y/M for the three maturity classes at the three sites were harvest index, vegetative dry matter (at tasselling), time to develop between silking and maturity (TFILL), and time to develop to silking (TSILK). Traits most highly correlated with harvest moisture were time to develop to maturity, TSILK, and TFILL. Models to estimate grain yield had higher coefficients of determination than those for harvest moisture and models for Y/M had intermediate coefficients. Results suggest that selection for high yielding low moisture hybrids in mid- to short-season production areas should aim to increase (i) the grainfilling period (TFILL); (ii) vegetative dry matter; and (iii) harvest index.

Contribution from Centre for Land and Biol. Resources Res. no. 93-38.

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Copyright © 1994. Crop Science Society of America, Inc.Copyright © 1994 by the Crop Science Society of America, Inc.