Importance of Secondary Traits in Improvement of Maize (Zea mays L.) for Enhancing Tolerance to Excessive Soil Moisture Stress
Selection on the basis of grain yield per se for improved performance under excessive moisture stress has often been misleading and considered inefficient. We assessed the importance of secondary traits of adaptive value under waterlogging stress. During the 2000–2004 summer-rainy seasons twelve trials were conducted and a total of 436 tropical/subtropical inbred lines (S4–Sn) were evaluated under excessive soil moisture stress. Excessive moisture treatment was applied at V6–7 growth stage by flooding the experimental plots continuously for seven days. Different phenological and physiological parameters were recorded before, during and either immediately or 1–2 weeks after exposure to stress. Excessive moisture conditions significantly affected all the morphological and physiological traits studied. However, there was significant genetic variability for various traits, especially for root porosity and brace root development that were induced under excessive moisture. Across the trials, significant genetic correlations (p<0.01) was obtained between grain yield and different secondary traits, including ears per plant, root porosity, brace root fresh weight, number of nodes with brace roots and anthesis silking interval. Broad-sense heritability decreased under excessive moisture stress conditions for most of the traits; however, it increased significantly for root porosity, nodal root development and ears per plant. Our findings suggest that consideration of these secondary traits during selection of maize germplasm for excessive moisture tolerance can improve selection efficiency and genetic gains.
Keywordsmaize secondary traits waterlogging
- AICRP, 2006. Directors’ report, 49th Annual Maize Workshop of All India Coordinated Maize Research Project, held at Birsa Agriculture University, Ranchi, India, 4–6 April 2006.Google Scholar
- Blum, A. 1988. Plant Breeding for Stress Environments. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.Google Scholar
- CIMMYT 1999. A user’s manual for field book 5.1/7.1 and alpha. CIMMYT, Mexico, pp. 42–48.Google Scholar
- Emes, M.J., Wilkins, C.P., Smith, P.A., Kepkanchanakul, K., Hawker, K., Charlton, N.A., Cutter, E.G. 1987. Starch utilization by deep water rises during submergence. Proceeding of the International Deep water Rice Workshop, Manila, Philippines. International Rice Research Institute, pp. 319–336.Google Scholar
- Hallauer, A.R., Miranda, J.B.F. 1981. Quantitative Genetics in Maize Breeding. Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa.Google Scholar
- Khera, A.S., Dillon, B.S., Saxena, V.K., Barar, H.S., Malhi, N.S. 1990. Genetic and Physiological Studies in Maize on Tolerance to Stress Caused by Waterlogged Conditions. Ad-hoc project, ICAR, New Delhi, India.Google Scholar
- Liu, X.Z., Wang, Z.L., Gao, Y.Z. 1991. The relationship between alcohol dehydrogenase and flooding tolerance in maize roots under water logging stress. Jiangsu. J. Agric. Sci. 7:1–5.Google Scholar
- Rathore, T.R., Warsi, M.Z.K., Zaidi, P.H., Singh, N.N. 1997. Water logging problem for maize production in Asian region. TAMNET News Letter 4:13–14.Google Scholar
- Singh, R.K., Chaudhary, B.D. 1979. Biometrical Methods in Quantitative Genetic Analysis. Kalyani Publishers, Rajendra Nagar, Ludhiana, India.Google Scholar
- Somogyi, M. 1952. Notes on sugar determination. J. Biol. Chem. 95:19–23.Google Scholar
- Zaidi, P.H., Singh, N.N. 2001. Effect of water logging on growth, biochemical compositions and reproduction in maize. J. Plant Biol. 28:61–69.Google Scholar
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.