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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of One and Two-Eared Selection on Stalk Strength and Other Characters in Maize

Authors
item Jampatong, S - UNIV OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA
item Darrah, Larry
item Krause, G - UNIV OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA
item Barry, B - USDA - RETIRED

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 1999
Publication Date: July 10, 2000
Citation: Jampatong, S., Darrah, L.L., Krause, G.F., Barry, B.D. 2000. Effect of one- and two-eared selection on stalk strength and other characters in maize. Crop Science. V.40:605-611.

Interpretive Summary: Prolificacy associated with higher grain yield in maize has been widely documented. However, one serious concern is that prolificacy appears associated with poor stalk strength and plant standability. The objective of this research was to compare stalk strength and other agronomic characters of one- and two-eared subpopulations derived from three original prolific populations. Entries were evaluated by using nine combinations of three levels of nitrogen application and three plant densities. Stalk crushing strength showed significant differences between one- and two-eared subpopulations for two of the three original populations. One-eared subpopulations had higher rind penetrometer resistance than two-eared subpopulations for all original populations. Two-eared selections generally resulted in poorer root and stalk strength. However, total yield of the two-eared subpopulations was significantly higher than that of the one-eared subpopulations for two of the three original populations. Prolificacy has significant potential as a novel character for yield improvement in the future. The impact of this research is that it shows corn breeders that selection for prolificacy alone, representing indirect selection for yield, would produce undesirable effects on other agronomic characters, especially root and stalk strength. Concurrent selection for total yield, prolificacy, and root and stalk strength should be used to extract the real benefit of the prolific character.

Technical Abstract: Prolificacy associated with higher grain yield in maize (Zea mays L.) has been widely documented. However, one serious concern is that prolificacy appears associated with poor stalk strength and plant standability. The objective of this research was to compare stalk strength and other agronomic characters of one-and two-eared subpopulations derived from three emaize populations (MoSQA(S7-H)C8 x Georgia Cow Corn [ACC]; MoSQB(S8-H)C8 x Georgia Cow Corn [Bcc]; SI171). Entries were evaluated by using nine combinations of three levels of nitrogen application (90, 180, and 270 kg N ha-1) and three levels of plant density (35 800, 47 800, and 59 800 plants ha-1). Stalk crushing strenght showed significant differences between one- and two-eared subpopulationss for ACC and BCC, but it was not significant for SI171. One-eared subpopulations had higher rind penetrometer resistance than two-eared subpopulations for all populations. Two-eared selections generally resulted in poorer root and stalk strength. However, total yield of the two-eared subpopulations was significantly higher than that of the one-eared subpopulations for BCC and SI171, but not for ACC. Prolificacy has significant potential as a novel character for yield improvement in the future. Selection for prolificacy alone, representing indirect selection for yield, would produce undesirable effects on other agronomic characters, especially root and stalk strength. Concurrent selection for total yield, prolificacy, and root and stalk strength should be used to extract the real benefit of the prolific character.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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