Using an Airborne Platform to Measure Canopy Temperature and NDVI under Heat Stress in Maize uri icon

abstract

  • In light of anticipated climate change, we assessed the possibility to use an airborne platform to measure canopy temperature (CT) and the normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI) as well as the suitability of both traits for their use in breeding for tolerance to heat stress. We evaluated 71 subtropical maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids under heat stress and combined heat and drought stress in an environment with average temperatures of 29.8 degrees C during the growing season and 31.2 degrees C during the flowering period. Grain yield (GY) ranged from 0.33 to 4.19 Mg ha(-1) under heat stress and from 0 to 1.37 Mg ha(-1) under combined heat and drought stress, going along with increases in CT from 42.5 degrees C to 49.5 degrees C and decreases in NDVI from 0.54 to 0.48. The NDVI explained differences between and within treatments, while CT explained differences in GY among treatments and genotypes within the heat and drought stress treatment, as indicated by genetic correlations with GY. A principal component analysis was used to identify combinations of physiological characteristics associated with genotypic variation in GY. Results showed that selection gains for GY could be improved by 0.486 Mg ha(-1) and 0.015 Mg ha(-1) under heat and combined heat and drought stress, respectively, if selection is simultaneously carried out for GY, NDVI, and lower CT and shorter anthesis silking interval. We postulate that the use of selection indices, including CT and NDVI in conjunction with GY, will improve selection gains and increase cost efficiency of breeding programs.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015