Submitted to: NCR-167 Corn Breeding Committee Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Improvement of yield is always present in the minds of maize breeders. Prolificacy is one of the most attractive traits for yield improvement. Some researchers have suggested that prolific maize gave more stable yields for a series of environments while others reported that prolificacy was advantageous only at low plant densities or in favorable environments. One serious drawback often discussed is that prolificacy appears to be closely related to poor stalk quality and plant standability. One approach to study the effects of prolificacy is to compare prolific vs. nonprolific genotypes. To avoid genetic background differences, three populations were developed by crossing between one-eared and multiple- eared populations. After random mating, selection for one- and two-eared types was done. The objective of this research was to compare stalk strength and other agronomic characteristics of one- and two-eared selections in three maize populations. The six entries were grown in nine combinations of three levels of nitrogen application and three levels of plant density. The experiment was conducted in 1995 and 1996 at a total of five Missouri environments. Selection of one- and two-eared sub- populations resulted in yield superiority of two-eared sub-populations compared to one-eared sub-populations at all combinations of different nitrogen levels and plant densities. However, root and stalk lodging were significantly higher in two-eared selections than one-eared selections, except for the SI171 population for root lodging. Two-eared selection also resulted in higher ear height than one-eared selections. In general, two-eared selections resulted in poorer root and stalk strength.