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The difference between breeding for nutrient use efficiency and for nutrient stress tolerance

DOI: 10.1590/S1984-70332011000300010

Keywords: plant breeding, abiotic stress, zea mays l.

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Abstract:

this study aimed to verify the relationship between breeding for tolerance to low levels of soil nutrients and for nutrient use efficiency in tropical maize. fifteen inbred lines were evaluated in two greenhouse experiments under contrasting levels of n and p. the relationship between nutritional efficiency and tolerance to nutritional stress was estimated by the spearman ranking correlation between the genotypes for the traits related to n and p use efficiency and phenotypic plasticity indices. the lack of relationship between the traits, in magnitude as well as significance, indicates that these characters are controlled by different gene groups. consequently, simultaneous selection for both nutrient use efficiency and tolerance to nutritional stress is possible, if the mechanisms that confer efficiency and tolerance are not competitive.

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