Stay green is the plant’s ability to sustain photosynthetically functional green leaf area for longer periods, even with excessive water stress. This study was done to understand the gene action that controlled inheritance of the stay green trait with the general objective of contributing to breeding more drought tolerant maize varieties. 10 F1 hybrids from crosses between highly performing and the least performing drought tolerant inbred lines as regards selected stay green physiological determinants were planted under a rain out shelter with a well-watered control and excessive water-stress treatments applied from six weeks after planting and eight weeks after planting. With progress in days after flowering, data were collected on relative chlorophyll per unit leaf area (RC: LAUG), maximum quantum yield of photosystem II photochemistry (ΦII), non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) and linear electron flow (LEF). RC: LAUG and NPQ were mainly inherited by additive gene action. ΦII was controlled more by the environment than interallelic interactions while LEF inheritance was controlled mainly by interallelic interactions.
Key words: Additive, inheritance, non-additive, photosynthesis, stay green.
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