Morpho-physiological characteristics of corn (Zea mays L.) affected by drought during its vegetative stage


María de la Luz Castro Acosta
Bardo Heleodoro Sánchez Soto
Jesús del Rosario Ruelas Islas
Celia Selene Romero Félix
Salomón Buelna Tarín
Victor Gabriel Almada Ruíz


water use efficiency, transpiration, dry weight, drought.


Objective: To evaluate the response corn hybrids have on their growth of aerial and root parts, transpiration,
and water use efficiency during their early vegetative stage in irrigation and drought conditions.
Design/methodology/approach: A randomized complete block design with a factorial arrangement, three
repetitions, three corn hybrids and two humidity levels were used. The evaluated variables were: plant height,
leaf area, root length, dry weight of the aerial and root part of the plants, efficiency in the water use and total
plant transpiration.
Results: The leaf area and dry weight data of the aerial parts of the assessed plants were greater in irrigation
than in drought; in contrast, root length, dry root weight and water use efficiency were higher in drought. SV 3245 registered a higher total transpiration per plant; SV 3243 and ASGROW 7543 showed higher dry weight in their aerial parts; ASGROW 7543 accumulated a greater dry weight at their roots and was more water usage efficient. The experiments indicated interaction for root length, dry root weight and efficiency in water use.
Limitations on study/implications: The drought caused seedlings’ death at 28 days after sowing (dds), therefore, it was not possible to continue the evaluations from then on.
Findings/conclusions: The drought decreased the growth of the aerial parts of the plants and increased the root system and efficiency in their water usage.

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