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The Effects Of Low Temperature On Zea Mays

P. Miedema
Published 1982 · Biology

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Publisher Summary This chapter describes various physiological effects of low temperature on maize and evaluates their significance for maize growing and breeding. A distinction has been made between low-temperature damage and the effects of suboptimal temperatures above the injury threshold on growth rate and the processes underlying it. Maize is sensitive to frost in all phases of its growth cycle except as dry seed. Freezing injury depends on the temperature, the duration of freezing, the water status of the plant, and the stability of supercooled water. Temperatures below and around the minimum temperature for germination and growth cause various types of physiological damage in maize. These low-temperature effects are referred to as chilling injury. Low-temperature chlorosis occurs at temperatures above the chilling range. Seeds and seedlings are sensitive to various types of injury. Soil fungi cause seed rot and seedling blight. Several types of physiological damage may occur, such as freezing injury, chilling injury, and low-temperature chlorosis. Low temperatures not only retard germination, emergence, and vegetative growth, but also affect morphogenesis. The chapter presents evidence showing that seedling growth at suboptimal temperatures is limited by leaf and root extension rather than by photosynthesis or the uptake of water and mineral nutrients.
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