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Dissection of Drought Stress as a Grain Production Constraint of Maize in Iran

Author(s): M. Khalily | M. Moghaddam | H. Kanouni | E. Asheri

Journal: Asian Journal of Crop Science
ISSN 1994-7879

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 60;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Abiotic stresses | drought tolerance | path analysis | maize (Zea mays L.)

The major objective of this study was to assess grain yield and its components in some genotypes of maize under different levels of drought stress. Therefore, eight medium maturity hybrids of maize were evaluated using a split-plot arrangement in randomized complete block design with four replications in three stress (the vegetative, reproductive and grain filling phases) and normal conditions, at the Agricultural Research station of Miando'ab, West Azerbaijan, North West of Iran. Some phenological and morphological characteristics were recorded during cropping season. Analysis of variance and mean comparisons revealed that yield loss due to drought stress at vegetative growth phase recorded highest role in crop yield reduction comparing to other stress media. The analysis of variability parameters revealed presence of substantial variability for all traits. The phenotypic correlation coefficients unfolded positive and significant associations of grain yield with 300-kernel weight, kernel girth, kernel rows/ear and kernels/row, at normal conditions. The maturity traits recorded significant and negative correlation with yield, at stress prone conditions. The path analysis revealed that the most important direct effects on grain yield are number of kernels/row, ear length, ear girth and kernel rows/ear thus, should be used as target traits for tailoring an ideal plant type for higher yield of maize exposed to drought stress at vegetative period. According to the results, at drought condition, anthesis to silking interval, days to silk emergence, green cover percentage and much more kernel number in row are major traits which recommended for selecting drought tolerant hybrid varieties of corn.
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