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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2018, Vol. 17 Issue (05): 1093-1105    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61869-0
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Shoot and root traits in drought tolerant maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids
ZHAO Jin1, XUE Qing-wu1, Kirk E Jessup1, HOU Xiao-bo2, HAO Bao-zhen3, Thomas H Marek1, XU Wen-wei4, Steven R Evett5, Susan A O’Shaughnessy5, David K Brauer5 
1 Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Amarillo, TX 79106, USA
2 Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences, University of Arizona, AZ 85721, USA
3 School of Science and Technology, Xinxiang University, Xinxiang 453003, P.R.China
4 Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Lubbock, TX 79403, USA
5 USDA-ARS Conservation and Production Research Laboratory, TX 79012, USA
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Abstract  This study aimed to investigate the differences in shoot and root traits, and water use and water use efficiency (WUE) in drought tolerant (DT) maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids under full and deficit irrigated conditions.  A two-year greenhouse study was conducted with four hybrids (one conventional hybrid, 33D53AM, two commercial DT hybrids, P1151AM, N75H, and an experimental hybrid, ExpHB) grown under two water regimes (I100 and I50, referring to 100 and 50% of evapotranspiration requirements).  Under water stress, the hybids P1151AM, N75, and ExpHB showed more drought tolerance and had either greater shoot dry weight or less dry weight reduction than the conventional hybrid (33D53AM).  However, these three hybrids responded to water stress using different mechanisms.  Compared with the conventional hybrid, the two commercial DT hybrids (P1151AM and N75H) had a smaller leaf area, shoot dry weight, and root system per plant.  As a result, these hybrids used less water but had a higher WUE compared with the conventional hybrid.  In contrast, the experimental hybrid (ExpHB) produced more shoot biomass by silking stage at both irrigation levels than all other hybrids, but it had relatively lower WUE.  The hybrids demonstrated different drought response mechanisms that may require different irrigation management strategies.  More investigation and validation are needed under field conditions and in different soil types.  
Keywords:  drought tolerant hybrid        rooting characteristics        water use       water use efficiency  
Received: 28 June 2017   Accepted:

This research is supported in part by the UDSA-Ogallala Aquifer Program and Texas A&M AgriLife Research Cropping System Program, USA and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch Project, USA (TEX09438).

Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence XUE Qing-wu, Tel: +1-806-3545803, Fax: +1-806-3545829, E-mail:    

Cite this article: 

ZHAO Jin, XUE Qing-wu, Kirk E Jessup, HOU Xiao-bo, HAO Bao-zhen, Thomas H Marek, XU Wen-wei,Steven R Evett, Susan A O’Shaughnessy, David K Brauer. 2018. Shoot and root traits in drought tolerant maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 17(05): 1093-1105.

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