Effect of nitrogen fertilizers on radiation use efficiency, Crop growth and yield in some maize (Zea mays L) genotypes


Nitrogen is the most important element required for plant growth and development. It is a key component in many biological compounds that play a major role in photosynthetic activity and crop yield capacity. Variation in nitrogen availability can affect plant development and grain production in maize. The effect of nitrogen availability on grain yield of maize can be assessed by physiological components such as the interception and efficient use of radia¬tion and partitioning of nitrogen to reproductive organs. Nitrogen fertilization affects maize dry matter production by influencing leaf area development, leaf area maintenance and photosynthetic efficiency of the leaf area. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of high and low nitrogen levels on morpho-physiological traits, radiation use efficiency and yield behaviour in long and short duration genotypes of maize. Field experiments were conducted in two growing seasons at five nitrogen levels: recommended dose of nitrogen (RDN), RDN+25%, RDN+50%, RDN-25% and RDN-50%. Ecophysiological traits such as leaf area index (LAI), intercepted photo¬synthetically active radiation (IPAR), fraction of photosynthetically active radiation intercepted by plants (FRI) and radiation use efficiency (RUE) significantly improved with the application of 25 and 50% nitrogen higher than the recommended dose. At both high and low nitrogen level, hybrids PMH1 (long duration) and JH 3459 (short dura¬tion) showed higher efficiency for converting IPAR into dry matter. Also, hybrids were more responsive to varia¬tions in nitrogen supply than their female and male parents in various physiological traits. Correlation of different physiological traits and grain yield at recommended, high and at low nitrogen levels was positive and significant, while for phenological traits, it was negative and significant.


maize; nitrogen; radiation use efficiency; hybrids; grain yeld

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013