Identification of corn hybrids that can withstand wet soil conditions is one approach to prevent crop production losses from abiotic stress caused by excessive soil moisture during early spring season in the midwestern United States. A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted in 2013 to screen and identify corn hybrids tolerant or susceptible to soil waterlogging at the V2 growth stage. The main plots included waterlogging durations: no waterlogging; 14-day waterlogging and then allowing recovery from waterlogging stress for 7 days; and 21-day waterlogging. Subplots included eight commercial corn hybrids. The shoot and root biomass, plant height, stomatal conductance, and chlorophyll meter readings were decreased due to waterlogging for 14 days and 21 days. Hybrid #2 appeared to be more tolerant to waterlogging as evidenced by greater growth and higher stomatal conductance and chlorophyll meter readings on newer leaves under waterlogged conditions. Hybrid #5 and Hybrid #8 were more susceptible to waterlogging than other hybrids. Large variability occurred among corn hybrids in response to soil waterlogging durations. Beneficial effects of improved soil conditions after excess water removal from 14-day waterlogged pots were not seen in this experiment, probably due to the short recovery time period between the excess water removal and experiment termination.
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