Early growth of field-grown swiss flint maize landraces


Mild cold stress (chilling) limits early growth of maize (Zea mays L.) in central and northern Europe. Introgression of chilling tolerance from landraces has been proposed, because the genetic basis for chilling tolerance of European Flint x Dent hybrids is small. Therefore, the aim of this study was a detailed characterization of the chilling toler¬ance of Swiss maize landraces, hypothesizing a relatively good performance in marginal thermal environments. The environments were set up by different sowing dates in two years. A functional growth analysis of the shoot from the one-leaf to the six-leaf stage was conducted with eight Swiss landraces and a check hybrid (Magister). The mean air temperature calculated across the six environments was above 15°C. Under these conditions, none of the landraces grew consistently better than Magister. Some landrace-specific relative growth reactions were observed compared to Magister, apparently due to strong changes in the temperature course. However, based on this study direct use of Swiss maize landraces in breeding for the improvement of chilling tolerance is not recom¬mended. More detailed investigations of promising landraces are proposed.


maize; flint; landrace; chilling tollerance; early growth

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013