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Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of Popcorn Hybrids for Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Responsiveness

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Plant Breeding Laboratory, Agricultural Science and Technology Center, Darcy Ribeiro State University of Northern Rio de Janeiro, Av. Alberto Lamego, 2000, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ 28013-602, Brazil
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Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Talca, Av. Lircay, s/n, Talca 3460000, Chile
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10040485
Received: 3 March 2020 / Revised: 27 March 2020 / Accepted: 28 March 2020 / Published: 1 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Breeding and Genetics)
The global boom in agricultural production has been associated with the exponential increase of nitrogen (N) fertilizer application. This heavy use of nitrogen in agriculture has caused negative impacts on the environment. Therefore, new alternatives are needed to maintain or increase maize yield but reduce the environmental impact. For this purpose, one possibility is to plant N-use efficient (NUE) cultivars. In this context, the objective of this study was to identify popcorn hybrid cultivars that are highly NUE and N-responsive, bred from crosses between inbred lines with contrasting levels of N-use efficiency. For this purpose, 90 hybrids were evaluated in a 10 × 10 triple lattice design at two sites and two levels of N availability (low and ideal availability). The results indicated that for the environment with low nitrogen availability, the lack of nitrogen reduced the chlorophyll content, extended the interval between male and female flowering, and affected the performance of the tested hybrids. However, we observed the existence of hybrids with greater efficiency than the responsiveness to nitrogen and with high productivity. These can even be used on farms where the level of production inputs is low, thus contributing to ensure food security. View Full-Text
Keywords: abiotic stress; nitrogen-use efficiency; sustainability; grain yield; plant breeding abiotic stress; nitrogen-use efficiency; sustainability; grain yield; plant breeding
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Santos, A.; Amaral Júnior, A.T.; Kamphorst, S.H.; Gonçalves, G.M.B.; Santos, P.H.A.D.; Vivas, J.M.S.; Mafra, G.S.; Khan, S.; Oliveira, F.T.; Schmitt, K.F.M.; Santos Junior, D.R.; Mora, F. Evaluation of Popcorn Hybrids for Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Responsiveness. Agronomy 2020, 10, 485.

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