Maize (Zea mays L.) landraces classified by drought stress tolerance at the seedling stage


  • Víctor A. González Hernández
  • Eleazar Lugo Cruz
  • Leopoldo E. Mendoza Onofre
  • Amalio Santacruz Varela
  • Ma. Alejandra Gutiérrez Espinosa Fruticultura, Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Montecillo. Carretera México-Texcoco km 36.5, 56230 Montecillo, Texcoco, Estado de México, México.
  • Francisco Zavala García Departamento de Fisiología Vegetal y Genética, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. 66050 General Escobedo, Nuevo León, México.



Drought is the main limiting factor for maize production, and climate change can aggravate this water scarcity. One way to mitigate this problem is to plant drought tolerance maize genotypes. In landrace maize grown under rainfed conditions there are drought-adapted genotypes, which can be used in breeding programs for drought tolerance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of an early water deficit on the seedling growth of 41 maize landraces from Nuevo León, Mexico, plus seven varieties, by means of drought tolerance indices based on biomass accumulation during both stress and post-stress recovery period, for identifying tolerant and susceptible genotypes. This study was performed at 2016 in Texcoco, Mexico (19°27’N, 98°54’W, 2241 masl). In the greenhouse, 96 treatments were compared (48 genotypes × two soil water regimes: without and with drought) under randomized complete blocks experimental design. After the drought stress period, normal irrigation was resumed for 15 days for recovery. In maize landraces there is genetic diversity in drought tolerance. Landraces GalTrini and SITexas outstanded as the most water deficit tolerant, whereas landraces Berrones, Rodeo, Sabanilla, Carmen, AraTrini and the inbred line L65 were the most drought susceptible. The total biomass measured before water stress was not related to drought adaptability. This study demonstrates that the post stress recovery is more important in drought stress adaptability than the drought resistance, regarding root biomass, shoot biomass and total biomass. Thus, to include the post stress recovery in drought tolerance studies can produce a more precise genotypic classification for drought stress resistance and adaptability.


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How to Cite

Hernández, V. A. G., E. L. Cruz, L. E. M. Onofre, A. S. Varela, M. A. G. Espinosa, and F. Z. García. “Maize (Zea Mays L.) Landraces Classified by Drought Stress Tolerance at the Seedling Stage”. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, vol. 33, no. 1, Jan. 2021, pp. 29-36, doi:10.9755/ejfa.2021.v33.i1.2356.



Research Article