Field Performance of Differentially Deteriorated Seed Lots of Maize (Zea mays) under Different Irrigation Treatments
AbstractA sub-sample of maize (cv. KSC301) seeds was kept as control or vigorous seed lot and two other sub-samples with about 16% moisture content were artificially deteriorated at 40C for 16 and 18 days. The three seed lots had seed viabilities of 99% (V1), 91% (V2) and 79% (V3). Laboratory tests were carried out as CR design with four replicates. However, the field experiment was conducted as factorial based on RCB design with three replicates to investigate the performance of differentially deteriorated seed lots under four irrigation treatments (irrigation after 70, 90, 110 and 130 mm evaporation from class A pan). Germination and emergence times significantly increased with increasing seed deterioration, but mean viability percentage, seedling dry weight, seedling emergence and protein and grain yields decreased as seed deterioration increased. Even plants from less deteriorated seed lot (V2) with acceptable germination (91%) showed 25.1% reduction in grain yield per unit area. The superiority of V1 to V2 seeds of maize increased as water limitation increased. Protein yield was also decreased as a result of seed deterioration. Seedling dry weight highly correlated with the field emergence and grain and protein yields. Thus, it is necessary to produce and cultivate high vigor seeds of maize, in order to ensure satisfactory yield achievement, particularly under adverse environmental conditions.
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