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|Relationships between grain weight and other yield component traits of maize varieties exposed to heat-stress and combined heat- and water-stress conditions.
|Chukwudi, Uchechukwu Paschal.
Kutu, Funso Raphael.
University of Nigeria
School of Agricultural Sciences
|Abiotic stress.;Correlation coefficient.;Path coefficient analysis.;Principal component analysis.;Maize breeding.;Zea mays L.
|It is necessary to identify the appropriate traits that influence yield in a given environment as part of a breeding programme. The objective of this study was to identify the morphological traits that contribute to maize grain weight (GWt) under abiotic stress conditions. Three drought-tolerant maize varieties were grown under no-stress (NHWS), heat-stress (HS), and combined heat- and water-stress (CHWS) conditions. Data from 19 morphological traits were analysed. The correlation results revealed that eight traits consistently produced a significant positive relationship with GWt under the three growth conditions. The path coefficient analysis revealed that in the NHWS, HS, and CHWS conditions, five traits consistently had a positive direct effect on the GWt. Given the magnitude of the positive direct effects, increasing dry biomass yield, harvest index, and grain number in the NHWS; grain number, harvest index, and ear width in the HS; and harvest index, days till silk appearance, leaf chlorophyll content, and grain number in the CHWS will increase GWt. Under various abiotic stress conditions, maize phenotypic expression varied. Therefore, the identified traits that contributed positively to GWt under various stress conditions should be considered when developing a maize improvement programme in a stress-prone environment.
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