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Agriculture 2018, 8(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8010003

Nitrogen Use Efficiency and the Genetic Variation of Maize Expired Plant Variety Protection Germplasm

Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Current address: PR-445 Road, km 56.5, Limagrain, Londrina, PR 86115-000, Brazil.
Current address: 718 Forest Park Blvd. Apt. D108, Oxnard, CA 93036, USA.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nutrient Dynamics in Stressful Environments)
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Abstract

Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in maize (Zea mays L.) is an important trait to optimize yield with minimal input of nitrogen (N) fertilizer. Expired Plant Variety Protection (ex-PVP) Act-certified germplasm may be an important genetic resource for public breeding sectors. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the genetic variation of N-use traits and to characterize maize ex-PVP inbreds that are adapted to the U.S. Corn Belt for NUE performance. Eighty-nine ex-PVP inbreds (36 stiff stalk synthetic (SSS), and 53 non-stiff stalk synthetic (NSSS)) were genotyped using 26,769 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, then 263 single-cross maize hybrids derived from these inbreds were grown in eight environments from 2011 to 2015 at two N fertilizer rates (0 and 252 kg N ha−1) and three replications. Genetic utilization of inherent soil nitrogen and the yield response to N fertilizer were stable across environments and were highly correlated with yield under low and high N conditions, respectively. Cluster analysis identified inbreds with desirable NUE performance. However, only one inbred (PHK56) was ranked in the top 10% for yield under both N-stress and high N conditions. Broad-sense heritability across 12 different N-use traits varied from 0.11 to 0.77, but was not associated with breeding value accuracy. Nitrogen-stress tolerance was negatively correlated with the yield increase from N fertilizer. View Full-Text
Keywords: expired Plant Variety Protection (ex-PVP); maize; nitrogen stress; nitrogen use efficiency (NUE); U.S. Corn Belt germplasm expired Plant Variety Protection (ex-PVP); maize; nitrogen stress; nitrogen use efficiency (NUE); U.S. Corn Belt germplasm
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Mastrodomenico, A.T.; Hendrix, C.C.; Below, F.E. Nitrogen Use Efficiency and the Genetic Variation of Maize Expired Plant Variety Protection Germplasm. Agriculture 2018, 8, 3.

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