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Article

Screening for Drought Tolerance in Maize (Zea mays L.) Germplasm Using Germination and Seedling Traits under Simulated Drought Conditions

1
Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo 11790, Egypt
2
Biological and Geological Sciences Department, Faculty of Education, Ain Shams University, Cairo 11341, Egypt
3
Gene Bank Department, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Corrensstr. 3, D-06466 Seeland, OT Gatersleben, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(5), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050565
Received: 4 April 2020 / Revised: 19 April 2020 / Accepted: 21 April 2020 / Published: 29 April 2020
Maize is known to be susceptible to drought stress, which negatively affects vegetative growth and biomass production, as well as the formation of reproductive organs and yield parameters. In this study, 27 responsive traits of germination (G) and seedlings growth were evaluated for 40 accessions of the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) germplasm collection, under no stress and simulated drought stress treatments by 10%, 15%, and 20% of polyethylene glycol (PEG). The three treatments significantly reduced G% and retarded seedlings growth, particularly the 15% and 20% PEG treatments; these two treatments also resulted in a significant increase of abnormal seedlings (AS). The heritability (H2) and correlations of the traits were estimated, and drought tolerance indices (DTIs) were calculated for traits and accessions. The H2 of G% values were reduced, and H2 for AS% increased as the PEG stress increased. Positive correlations were found between most trait pairs, particularly shoot and root traits, with 48 highly significant correlations under no stress and 25 highly significant correlations under the 10% PEG treatments, particularly for shoot and root traits. The medium to high heritability of shoot and root seedling traits provides a sound basis for further genetic analyses. PCA analysis clearly grouped accessions with high DTIs together and the accessions with low DTIs together, indicating that the DTI indicates the stress tolerance level of maize germplasm. However, the resemblance in DTI values does not clearly reflect the origin or taxonomic assignments to subspecies and varieties of the examined accessions. View Full-Text
Keywords: maize; abiotic stress; germination; seedlings; heritability; climate change maize; abiotic stress; germination; seedlings; heritability; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Badr, A.; El-Shazly, H.H.; Tarawneh, R.A.; Börner, A. Screening for Drought Tolerance in Maize (Zea mays L.) Germplasm Using Germination and Seedling Traits under Simulated Drought Conditions. Plants 2020, 9, 565. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050565

AMA Style

Badr A, El-Shazly HH, Tarawneh RA, Börner A. Screening for Drought Tolerance in Maize (Zea mays L.) Germplasm Using Germination and Seedling Traits under Simulated Drought Conditions. Plants. 2020; 9(5):565. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050565

Chicago/Turabian Style

Badr, Abdelfattah, Hanaa H. El-Shazly, Rasha A. Tarawneh, and Andreas Börner. 2020. "Screening for Drought Tolerance in Maize (Zea mays L.) Germplasm Using Germination and Seedling Traits under Simulated Drought Conditions" Plants 9, no. 5: 565. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050565

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