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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(3), 235; doi:10.3390/rs9030235

Stay-Green and Associated Vegetative Indices to Breed Maize Adapted to Heat and Combined Heat-Drought Stresses

1
Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, 7620 Balcarce, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2
Global Maize Program—Physiology, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Carretera México Veracruz, Km 45, Texcoco 56237, Estado de Mexico, Mexico
3
L. González Pérez, Sustainable Intensification Program, Carretera Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Km. 12, Cd. Obregón, Sonora 85208, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jan Dempewolf, Jotheshwar Nagol, Min Feng, James Campbell, Clement Atzberger and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 30 January 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the importance of stay-green on grain yield under heat and combined heat and drought stress and to identify the associated vegetative indices allowing higher throughput in order to facilitate the identification of climate resilient germplasm. Hybrids of tropical and subtropical adaptation were evaluated under heat and combined heat and drought stress in 2014 and 2015. Five weekly measurements with an airplane mounted multispectral camera starting at anthesis were used to estimate the area under the curve (AUC) for vegetation indices during that period; the indices were compared to the AUC (AUCSEN) for three visual senescence scores taken two, four, and six weeks after flowering and a novel stay-green trait (AUC for stay-green; AUCSG) derived from AUCSEN by correcting for the flowering date. Heat and combined heat and drought stress reduced grain yield by 53% and 82% (relative to non-stress trials reported elsewhere) for trials carried out in 2014 and 2015, respectively, going along with lower AUCSG in 2014. The AUCSG was consistently correlated with grain yield across trials and years, reaching correlation coefficients of 0.55 and 0.56 for 2014 and 2015, respectively. The AUC for different vegetative indices, AUCNDVI (rgGY = 0.62; rgAUCSG = 0.72), AUCHBSI (rgGY = 0.64; rgAUCSG = 0.71), AUCGRE (rgGY = 0.57; rgAUCSG = 0.61), and AUCCWMI (rgGY = 0.63; rgAUCSG = 0.75), were associated with grain yield and stay-green across experiments and years. Due to its good correlation with grain yield and stay-green across environments, we propose AUCNDVI for use as an indicator for stay-green and a long grain filling. The trait AUCNDVI can be used in addition to grain yield to identify climate-resilient germplasm in tropical and subtropical regions to increase food security in a changing climate. View Full-Text
Keywords: CWMI; NDVI; GRE; HSBI; stay-green; maize; climate change; breeding CWMI; NDVI; GRE; HSBI; stay-green; maize; climate change; breeding
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cerrudo, D.; González Pérez, L.; Mendoza Lugo, J.A.; Trachsel, S. Stay-Green and Associated Vegetative Indices to Breed Maize Adapted to Heat and Combined Heat-Drought Stresses. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 235.

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