Tolerance to excess moisture in maize (Zea mays L.): susceptible crop stages and identification of tolerant genotypes uri icon

abstract

  • Excess moisture (water-logging) during the summer-rainy season is one of the major production constraints for maize (Zea mays L.) in a large area of Southeast Asia. Identification and development of genotypes capable of withstanding the stress conditions could be an ideal and affordable approach suitable for resource poor maize-growing farmers of such areas. We attempted to identify the most susceptible/critical crop stage(s) of maize for excess moisture stress, and to develop a screening technique and selection strategies for identification of germplasm tolerant to excess moisture stress. Among the four crop stages, i.e. early seedling (V2), knee-high (V7), tasseling (VT) and milk stage (RI), V2 was found to be highly susceptible, followed by the V7 stage. A screening technique (cup method) was developed/standardized, and was found to be an efficient technique for large-scale screening of maize genotypes against excess soil moisture stress. Germplasm was screened using this technique followed by field evaluation at the V7 growth stage (seventh leaf visible). Excess soil moisture stress severely affected various growth and biochemical parameters, impaired anthesis and silking, and eventually resulted in poor kernel development and yield. However, remarkable variability was found among the genotypes studied. Genotypes with good carbohydrate accumulation in stem tissues, moderate stomatat conductance, <5 days ASI, high root porosity, and early brace root development ability have been found to have good tolerance against the hypoxia/anoxia caused by excess soil moisture conditions. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2004
  • 2004