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Assistant Professor, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan


Deficiency of Boron is becoming big concern for crop production under limited water resources. there must be some strategies to cope the situation. I am working on exogenous application of boron in maize with deficit irrigation. The main objective of this research is to investigate the effect of B on growth and yield related traits of maize under water deficit condition. A field experiment was conducted at Agronomic Research Farm, Bahauddin Zakaryia University, Multan. Experiment was comprised of four treatments viz. control (full irrigation), water deficit without B, full irrigation with 1% B foliar application, water deficit with 1% B foliar application at 5 leaf stage of maize. The treatments were applied with factorial arrangement based on randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. Our result revealed that foliar application of 1% B significantly increased different growth, and yield related traits of maize under water deficit as well as full irrigation. The foliar application of 1% B produced maximum plant height, cob length, no. of rows per cob, no. of grains per cob, grain weight, grain yield of maize in full irrigation. However, these parameters were improved in water deficit irrigation with 1% B as compared to no B in water deficit conditions. Our result shows that foliar application of 1% B mitigated the shortage of water and improved the growth and yield of maize plants.


Yield Response of Spring Maize to Inter-Row Subsoiling and Soil Water Deficit in Northern China.

Abstract: Long-term tillage has been shown to induce water stress episode during crop growth period due to low water retention capacity. It is unclear whether integrated water conservation tillage systems, such asspringdeepinter-row subsoiling with annual or biennial repetitions, can be developed to alleviate this issue while improve crop productivity.Experimentswere carried out in a spring maize cropping system on Calcaric-fluvicCambisolsatJiaozuoexperimentstation, northern China, in 2009 to 2014. Effects of threesubsoiling depths (i.e., 30 cm, 40 cm, and 50 cm) in combination with annual and biennial repetitionswasdetermined in two single-years (i.e., 2012 and 2014)againstthe conventional tillage. The objectives were to investigateyield response to subsoiling depths and soil water deficit(SWD), and to identify the most effective subsoiling treatment using a systematic assessment.Annualsubsoiling to 50 cm (AS-50) increased soil water storage (SWS, mm) by an average of8% in 0-20 cm soil depth, 19% in 20-80 cm depth, and 10% in 80-120 cm depth, followed by AS-40 and BS-50, whereas AS-30 and BS-30 showed much less effects in increasing SWS across the 0-120 cm soil profile, compared to the CK. AS-50 significantly reduced soil water deficit (SWD, mm) by an average of123% during sowing to jointing, 318% during jointing to filling, and 221% during filling to maturity, compared to the CK, followed by AS-40 and BS-50. An integrated effect on increasing SWS and reducing SWD helped AS-50 boost grain yield by an average of 31% and biomass yield by 30%, compared to the CK. A power function for subsoiling depth and a negative linear function for SWD were used to fit the measured yields, showing the deepest subsoiling depth (50 cm) with the lowest SWD contributed to the highest yield. Systematic assessment showed that AS-50 received the highest evaluation index (0.69 out of 1.0) among all treatments.Deepinter-row subsoilingwith annual repetition significantly boosts yield by alleviating SWD in critical growth period and increasing SWS in 20-80 cm soil depth. The results allow us to conclude that AS-50 can be adopted as an effective approach to increase crop productivity, alleviate water stress, and improve soil water availability for spring maize in northern China.

Pub.: 23 Apr '16, Pinned: 10 Aug '17

Boron deficiency in maize

Abstract: Boron (B) deficiency depresses wheat, barley and triticale yield through male sterility. On the basis of field responses to B fertilization, maize (Zea mays L.) is affected by B deficiency in five continents. In a series of sand culture trials with maize subject to B0 (nil added B) and B20 (20 μM added B) treatments, we described how B deficiency depressed maize grain yield while showing an imperceptible effect on vegetative dry weight. With manual application of pollen to the silk of each plant, B0 plants produced 0.4 grain ear−1 compared with 410 grains ear−1 in B20 plants. Symptoms of B deficiency was observed only in B0 plants, which exhibited symptoms of narrow white to transparent lengthwise streaks on leaves, multiple but small and abnormal ears with very short silk, small tassels with some branches emerging dead, and small, shrivelled anthers devoid of pollen. Tassels, silk and pollen of B0 plants contained only 3–4 mg B kg−1 DW compared with twice or more B in these reproductive tissues in B20 plants. A cross-fertilization experiment showed that, although the tassels and pollen were more affected, the silk was more sensitive to B deficiency. Pollen from B20 plants applied to B0 silk produced almost no grains, while pollen from B0 on B20 silk increased the number of grains to 37% of the 452 grains plant−1 produced from B20 pollen on B20 silk. Therefore, the silk of the first ear may be targeted for precise diagnosis of B status at maize reproduction, for timely correction by foliar B application, and even for B-efficient genotype selection.

Pub.: 24 Dec '10, Pinned: 10 Aug '17

The Combined Action of Duplicated Boron Transporters Is Required for Maize Growth in Boron Deficient Conditions.

Abstract: The micronutrient boron is essential in maintaining the structure of plant cell walls and is critical for high yields in crop species. Boron can move into plants by diffusion or by active and facilitated transport mechanisms. We recently showed that mutations in the maize boron efflux transporter ROTTEN EAR (RTE) cause severe developmental defects and sterility. RTE is part of a small gene family containing five additional members (RTE2-RTE6) that show tissue specific expression. The close paralogous gene RTE2 encodes a protein with 95% amino acid identity with RTE and is similarly expressed in shoot and root cells surrounding the vasculature. Despite sharing similar functions with RTE, mutations in the RTE2 gene do not cause growth defects in the shoot, even in boron deficient conditions. However, rte2 mutants strongly enhance the rte phenotype in soils with low boron content, producing shorter plants that fail to form all reproductive structures. The joint action of RTE and RTE2 is also required in root development. These defects can be fully complemented by supplying boric acid, suggesting that diffusion or additional transport mechanisms overcome active boron transport deficiencies in the presence of an excess of boron. Overall, these results suggest that RTE2 and RTE function are essential for maize shoot and root growth in boron deficient conditions.

Pub.: 24 Jun '17, Pinned: 10 Aug '17

Acetate-mediated novel survival strategy against drought in plants.

Abstract: Water deficit caused by global climate changes seriously endangers the survival of organisms and crop productivity, and increases environmental deterioration(1,2). Plants' resistance to drought involves global reprogramming of transcription, cellular metabolism, hormone signalling and chromatin modification(3-8). However, how these regulatory responses are coordinated via the various pathways, and the underlying mechanisms, are largely unknown. Herein, we report an essential drought-responsive network in which plants trigger a dynamic metabolic flux conversion from glycolysis into acetate synthesis to stimulate the jasmonate (JA) signalling pathway to confer drought tolerance. In Arabidopsis, the ON/OFF switching of this whole network is directly dependent on histone deacetylase HDA6. In addition, exogenous acetic acid promotes de novo JA synthesis and enrichment of histone H4 acetylation, which influences the priming of the JA signalling pathway for plant drought tolerance. This novel acetate function is evolutionarily conserved as a survival strategy against environmental changes in plants. Furthermore, the external application of acetic acid successfully enhanced the drought tolerance in Arabidopsis, rapeseed, maize, rice and wheat plants. Our findings highlight a radically new survival strategy that exploits an epigenetic switch of metabolic flux conversion and hormone signalling by which plants adapt to drought.

Pub.: 27 Jun '17, Pinned: 10 Aug '17

Effects of different irrigation regimes on soil moisture availability evaluated by CSM-CERES-Maize model under semi-arid condition

Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 June 2017 Source:Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology Author(s): Hamzeh Dokoohaki, Mahdi Gheysari, Sayed-Frahad Mousavi, Gerrit Hoogenboom Crop models are useful tools for evaluation of management factors for any possible productivity improvement under water-deficit conditions. Such applications require an accurate simulation of the soil water balance. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of CSM-CERES-Maize model for simulating soil moisture under different irrigation levels of silage-maize. This experiment was conducted in growing seasons of 2003 and 2004. Treatments were four irrigation levels (two deficit-irrigation levels at 0.7 and 0.85 soil moisture depletion (SMD), a full irrigation (SMD) and an over-irrigation treatment (1.13 SMD), indicated by W1, W2, W3 and W4, respectively). Soil moisture was measured on a daily basis in different layers of the soil profile. In the first year, gravimetric sampling method and in the second year a neutron probe were used for measuring soil moisture. Simulated soil moisture was compared with measured field values for each individual soil layer. Results indicated that root mean square error (RMSE) of the model-predicted soil moisture for different treatments, depending on depth, was 0.8–13.6%. Systematic error and the index of agreement of the model in estimating total water in 60cm soil profile was 0.8–2.00cm. The greatest error in estimating soil moisture always happened for top layer of the soil profile. Based on the results, it can be concluded that CSM-CERES-Maize model is able to simulate soil moisture content for wide range of soil conditions and irrigation regimes.

Pub.: 16 Jun '17, Pinned: 10 Aug '17