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Variability for Nitrogen Management in Genetically-Distant Maize (Zea mays L.) Lines: Impact of post-silking nitrogen limiting conditions

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  • I. Quilleré
  • C. Dargel-Graffin
  • P.J. Lea
  • B. Hirel
Article number309
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2018
Issue number12
Number of pages12
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/12/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The impact of nitrogen (N)-limiting conditions after silking on kernel yield (KY)-related traits and whole plant N management was investigated using fifteen maize lines representative of plant genetic diversity in Europe and America. A large level of genetic variability of these traits was observed in the different lines when post-silking fertilization of N was strongly reduced. Under such N-fertilization conditions, four different groups of lines were identified on the basis of KY and kernel N content. Although the pattern of N management, including N uptake and N use was variable in the four groups of lines, a number of them were able to maintain both a high yield and a high kernel N content by increasing shoot N remobilization. No obvious relationship between the genetic background of the lines and their mode of N management was found. When N was limiting after silking, N remobilization appeared to be a good predictive marker for identifying maize lines that were able to maintain a high yield and a high kernel N content irrespective of their female flowering date. The use of N remobilization as a trait to select maize genotypes adapted to low N input is discussed. © 2018 by the authors.