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Relationship between morphological characters and root lodging susceptibility of maize zea mays l



Relationship between morphological characters and root lodging susceptibility of maize zea mays l



Agronomie (Paris) 10(6): 439-446



The relationship between morphological characters and root lodging susceptibility was studied for 12 maize hybrids. The 12 hybrids were sown in 1988 in a 3 block design with individual plots of 2 rows, 5 m long. This first design was used for measuring natural lodging. The 12 hybrids were also sown in a 2nd design with greater plots (4 rows .times. 40 M) for plant sampling. Twenty four plants per hybrid were sampled on several dates. The following data were recorded: number of visible and expanded leaves, aerial dry matter per plant and number of emerged roots per internode. Natural lodging occurred on the 1st of July when plants had between 13 and 15 visible leaves. The inclination angle was measured on 50 plants per plot using the rule shown in figure 1. The 50 plants were distributed among 6 angle classes (table I). A mean inclination angle was then calculated for each hybrid. Some lodged plants were carefully removed from the soil for detailed observation of damages and breaking points on the root system and at the base of the stem. Seven of the 12 hybrids were lodged. The mean inclination angle ranged from 0 to 19.9 degrees for the most lodged hybrid (table III). Plants were inclined from their base without any stem breakage. Detailed observation of lodged plants showed breakage points on the basal part of the roots of the upper internodes (figs 2-3; table IV). The plant sample which took place just before natural lodging showed differences between hybrids for all characters (table V). The mean inclination angle was negatively correlated with the number of internodes with emerged roots (r = -0.677*) (table VI, fig 5). These results emphasize the role of the roots of the upper internodes on stem stability. The date of appearance of these roots, and their mechanical properties, must also be taken into account.

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