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Evaluation of Yield-Based Low Nitrogen Tolerance Indices for Screening Maize (Zea mays L.) Inbred Lines

Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Maize in Arid Area of Northwest Region, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Maize Engineering & Technology Research Centre of Shaanxi Province, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(5), 240;
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Breeding and Genetics)
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To screen the desired criterion to identify desirable genotypes and select genotypes best suited to limited nitrogen availability in order to facilitate the practice of low-nitrogen-tolerant breeding in maize, the response of 31 maize inbred lines, containing four control inbred lines (PH6WC, PH4CV, Zheng58, and Chang7-2) and others selected from the Shaan A and Shaan B heterotic groups cultivated at Northwest A&F University (Yangling, Shaanxi, China), were evaluated. The experiment was conducted following a split plot design with two replications during three growing seasons (2015, 2016, and 2017) under both high nitrogen (HN) and low nitrogen (LN) conditions at the Yulin and Yangling in Shaanxi Province, China. Seven screening indices, based on grain yield under two contrasting nitrogen (N) conditions, the stress susceptibility index (SSI), yield stability index (YSI), mean productivity (MP), geometric mean productivity (GMP), stress tolerance index (STI), harmonic mean (HM), and low nitrogen tolerance index (LNTI), were computed to assess the overall index that accurately screened the desirable genotypes. The results of the correlation analyses and principal component analysis showed that MP, GMP, HM and STI were correlated with grain yield significantly and positively under contrasting N conditions, and were able to accurately discriminate the desirable genotypes. Compared with the control inbred lines, many inbred lines selected from the Shaan A and Shaan B groups showed a higher LN tolerance. This shows that we can effectively improve the LN tolerance of maize inbred lines through LN screening. Based on the screening indices, the three-dimensional diagram and genotype and genotype × environment (GGE) biplots are agreed with this results, and we identified KA105, KB081, KA225, 91227, and 2013KB-47 as the desired genotypes that have the potential to be used to breed a high yield and stable hybrid. View Full-Text
Keywords: maize; screening indices; low nitrogen tolerance; grain yield maize; screening indices; low nitrogen tolerance; grain yield

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Zhao, Z.; He, K.; Feng, Z.; Li, Y.; Chang, L.; Zhang, X.; Xu, S.; Liu, J.; Xue, J. Evaluation of Yield-Based Low Nitrogen Tolerance Indices for Screening Maize (Zea mays L.) Inbred Lines. Agronomy 2019, 9, 240.

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