Leafy reduced-stature maize for short-season environments: morphological aspects of inbred lines
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Development of maize (Zea mays L.) types that produce leaf area rapidly and finish vegetative development quickly would increase production of maize in mid- to short-season areas. The Leafy (Lfy1) and reduced-stature (rd1) traits each make contributions to this end. However, these two traits have not previously been combined. Our objective was to evaluate the morphological aspects of non-leafy normal-stature (NLNS), leafy reduced-stature (LRS), non-leafy reduced-stature (NLRS), and leafy normal-stature (LNS) maize inbreds. Two traits, Lfy1 and rd1, were incorporated into a series of inbreds, resulting in a range of canopy architectures. Twelve variables were recorded for each of 30 inbreds over three years. The 12 variables were: seed emergence, above-ear leaf number, below-ear leaf number, dead leaf number at tasselling, live leaf number at tasselling, total leaf number, above-ear leaf area, ear leaf length, ear leaf width, ear height, internode length, and plant height. Inbreds containing the Lfy1 trait had more above-ear leaf area, above-ear leaf number, dead leaf number at tasselling, total leaf number and number of live leaves at tasselling than non-leafy inbred lines. Below-ear leaf number was not different among LRS, LNS, and NLNS inbred lines. LRS and NLRS inbred lines were also not different for below-ear leaf number. Plant height, ear height, and ear leaf length and width were higher in normal-stature than reduced-stature plants. The proportion of the seeds which emerged was higher for LRS inbreds than the other trait groups.
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