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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 48 No. 4, p. 1502-1512
    Received: Sept 18, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): ruiz.ariel@inifap.gob.mx
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Climatic Adaptation and Ecological Descriptors of 42 Mexican Maize Races

  1. José Ariel Ruiz Corral *a,
  2. Noé Durán Pugab,
  3. José de Jesús Sánchez Gonzálezb,
  4. José Ron Parrab,
  5. Diego Raymundo González Eguiarteb,
  6. J.B. Hollandc and
  7. Guillermo Medina Garcíad
  1. a Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias-Univ. de Guadalajara, Parque Los Colomos S/N 2da. Sección, Col. Providencia, Guadalajara 44660, Jalisco, Mexico
    b Univ. de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias, Zapopan 45110, Jalisco, Mexico
    c USDA-ARS, Plant Science Research Unit, Dep. of Crop Science, Box 7620, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC 27695
    d Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias, Campo Experimental Zacatecas, Calera de V.R., Zacatecas, Mexico


To better understand the range of adaptation of maize (Zea mays L.) landraces, climatic adaptation intervals of 42 Mexican maize races were determined. A database of 4161 maize accessions was used to characterize altitudinal and climatic conditions where the 42 maize races grow, yielding ecological descriptors for each race. Using the geographical coordinates of the collection sites of each accession, their climatic conditions were characterized using the geographic information system IDRISI and a national environmental information system. Analyses of variance and cluster analyses of the racial ecological descriptors were performed to determine possible environmental groupings of the races. We found a very high level of variation among and within Mexican maize races for climate adaptation and ecological descriptors. The general overall climatic ranges for maize were 0 to 2900 m of altitude, 11.3 to 26.6°C annual mean temperature, 12.0 to 29.1°C growing season mean temperature, 426 to 4245 mm annual rainfall, 400 to 3555 mm growing season rainfall, and 12.46 to 12.98 h mean growing season daylength. These climatic ranges of maize surpass those from its closest relative, teosinte (Z. mays ssp. parviglumis Iltis and Doebley), indicating that maize has evolved adaptability beyond the environmental range in which ancestral maize was first domesticated.

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