Research Article

Screening of inbred popcorn lines for tolerance to low phosphorus

Abstract

Increasing phosphorus use efficiency in agriculture is essential for sustainable food production. Thus, the aims of this study were: i) to identify phosphorus use efficiency (PUE) in popcorn lines during the early plant stages, ii) to study the relationship between traits correlated with PUE, and iii) to analyze genetic diversity among lines. To accomplish this, 35 popcorn lines from Universidade Estadual de Maringá breeding program were studied. The experiment was conducted in a growth chamber using a nutrient solution containing two concentrations of phosphorus (P): 2.5 μM or low P (LP) and 250 μM or high P (HP). After 13 days in the nutrient solution, root morphology traits, shoot and root dry weight, and P content of the maize seedlings were measured. A deviance analysis showed there was a high level of genetic variability. An unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) clustering analysis identified three groups for the LP treatment (efficient, intermediate, and inefficient) and three groups for the HP treatment (responsive, moderately responsive, and unresponsive). The results of a principal component analysis and selection index were consistent with the UPGMA analysis, and lines 1, 2, 13, 17, 26, and 31 were classified as PUE.

Increasing phosphorus use efficiency in agriculture is essential for sustainable food production. Thus, the aims of this study were: i) to identify phosphorus use efficiency (PUE) in popcorn lines during the early plant stages, ii) to study the relationship between traits correlated with PUE, and iii) to analyze genetic diversity among lines. To accomplish this, 35 popcorn lines from Universidade Estadual de Maringá breeding program were studied. The experiment was conducted in a growth chamber using a nutrient solution containing two concentrations of phosphorus (P): 2.5 μM or low P (LP) and 250 μM or high P (HP). After 13 days in the nutrient solution, root morphology traits, shoot and root dry weight, and P content of the maize seedlings were measured. A deviance analysis showed there was a high level of genetic variability. An unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) clustering analysis identified three groups for the LP treatment (efficient, intermediate, and inefficient) and three groups for the HP treatment (responsive, moderately responsive, and unresponsive). The results of a principal component analysis and selection index were consistent with the UPGMA analysis, and lines 1, 2, 13, 17, 26, and 31 were classified as PUE.