Low nitrogen tolerance in tropical quality protein maize (Zea mays L.): value of predictive traits

Abstract

In the tropics, maize (Zea mays L.) is often grown under low N conditions. Information on the respective role of N uptake and partitioning at anthesis in determining grain yield under low N is scarce. Senescence traits have been proposed as secondary traits to select for low N tolerance, but the stability of their association with yield under different environmental conditions has been rarely described. In the present study we analyzed the associations between grain yield, N uptake and partitioning at anthesis, dry matter matter partitioning, and senescence traits during two seaons in QPM (quality protein maize) hybrids. Association between grain yield and N uptake at anthesis, when found, was mainly explained by a close relationship between grain yield and above-ground biomass. No relationship was found between grain yield and N partitioning at anthesis. In both seasons grain yield was significantly positively associated with ear to above-ground biomass and ear to tassel weight ratios. The magnitude of the correlation between grain yield and senescence traits highly depended on climatic conditions.

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Correspondence to P. Monneveux.

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Monneveux, P., Cabon, G. & Sánchez, C. Low nitrogen tolerance in tropical quality protein maize (Zea mays L.): value of predictive traits. CEREAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS 34, 1239–1246 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1556/CRC.34.2006.4.264

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Keywords

  • Zea mays L.
  • N deficiency
  • N partitioning
  • N uptake
  • senescence
  • QPM (quality protein maize)