Shoot and root traits in drought tolerant maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 CAAS. Publishing services by Elsevier B.V 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.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhao, J., Xue, Q., Jessup, K. E., Hou, X., Hao, B., Marek, T. H., ... Brauer, D. K.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Zhao, Jin||Xue, Qing-wu||Jessup, Kirk E||Hou, Xiao-bo||Hao, Bao-zhen||Marek, Thomas H||Xu, Wen-wei||Evett, Steven R||O'Shaughnessy, Susan A||Brauer, David K

publication date

  • May 2018