Volume 7, Issue 4      October - December, 2019

Salicylic acid improves yield and grain quality of hybrid maize under deficit irrigation in subtropical region

Atique-ur-Rehman1,2, Muhammad Mohsin Altaf1,2, Rafi Qamar1,2

1Department of Agronomy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan              

2Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Pakistan


The regulatory effect of salicylic acid under biotic and abiotic stresses can be constructive for maize cultivation in water deficit conditions of subtropical environments. Therefore, we investigated the effect of applying salicylic acid (SA) on growth, yield attributes and quality related traits of two maize hybrids (ICI-9091 and Pioneer-1543) under limited irrigation. The plants were grown at the Agronomic Research Area of Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan during spring 2016. We conducted one independent experiment with completely randomized design (CRD) with factorial arrangement and repeated thrice, under green-house, using four treatments viz. control, irrigation deficit with 0% SA, irrigation deficit with 1% SA and full irrigation with 1% SA. Salicylic acid was sprayed at 10-12 leaf stage. The obtained data revealed that, irrigation deficit (p≤0.05) affected different growth and yield variables like plant height, stem diameter, cob length, number of rows per cob, number of grains per row, 1000-grain weight, biological and economic yield (t ha-1). Additionally, relative water content, chlorophyll content, soluble sugar and grain protein content were also affected (p≤0.05) by irrigation deficit. Moreover, spraying maize hybrids with 1% SA significantly (p≤0.05) increased the growth, yield and quality parameters of both maize hybrids under full and deficit irrigation conditions except the proline content. Between maize hybrids, Pioneer-1543 proved significantly (p≤0.05) better tolerance under irrigation deficit condition as compared to ICI-9091. On the basis of results, it is suggested that under limited irrigation maize yield may be linked with the effect of SA application on the yield attributes.

Keywords: Chlorophyll content, Irrigation deficit, Oil quality, Proline, Salicylic acid

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