Response of Maize-Hybrids Phenology Under high Plant Population Density in parts of Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria

  • A.W. Abubakar
  • U. Mohammad
  • I. I. Dangora
Keywords: Biotic stress, Growth, Phenology, Plant population density and Maize-hybrids


Plant distribution in the field, as affected by plant density, has been one area that has received a great deal of attention over the last several decades. Population density, whether directly on the plant or indirectly on biotic factors associated with plant density is one of the most important factors in determining physiological attributes of a crop. Maize grain yield has a parabolic response to stand density that maximizes yield, which is widely known by the crop managers, physiologists and breeders; together with the concept that this optimum stand density varies with the environment. Development of breeding populations and hybrids with improved tolerance to high plant densities should be an important part of maize breeding programs. A field experiment was therefore conducted during 2015 and 2016 rainy season at Tudun Wada, Kano and Shika, Zaria in the Northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria in order to assess the phenological components of maize-hybrids at high plant population density. The experiment consisted of two plant populations of 53,333 plantha-1 and 88,888 plantsha-1 as main plot and eight recently developed drought–tolerant maize hybrids: M0826-7, M0926-8, M1026-10, M1026-13, M1124-4, M1124-10, M1227-12 and M1227-14 and two widely cultivated commercial hybrids as controls (Oba-98 and Oba super-1) as sub-plots laid out in a randomized split-plot design and replicated three times. Maize-hybrids responded to high plant population density in the two locations. Increasing plant population significantly decreased the phenology of maize-hybrids, which showed better adaptation of hybrids to high plant population density. Hybrids showed shorter days to maturity and shorter anthesis-silking interval. Maize-hybrids performed better at Zaria than at Tudun Wada because rainfall was higher and better distributed in this location. However recent hybrids were more tolerant to high plant population than the commercial hybrids, therefore the recently released maize-hybrids were more adapted to biotic stress.

Keywords: Biotic stress, Growth, Phenology, Plant population density and Maize-hybrids


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2635-3490
print ISSN: 2476-8316