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Hindawi Advances in Agriculture Volume 2019, Article ID 2624707, 6 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/2624707 Research Article 1 2 3 3 A. W. Abubakar, A. A. Manga , A. Y. Kamara, and A. I. Tofa Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa, Nigeria Department of Agronomy, Bayero University Kano, Nigeria International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria Correspondence should be addressed to A. A. Manga; firstname.lastname@example.org Received 30 May 2018; Revised 22 October 2018; Accepted 8 January 2019; Published 1 April 2019 Academic Editor: Gab ´ or Kocsy Copyright © 2019 A. W. Abubakar et al. is Th is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. A field experiment was conducted during 2014 and 2016 rainy season at Tudun Wada, Kano and Shika, Zaria in the Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria in order to study the physiological responses of maize hybrids under low nitrogen. eTh experiment consisted −1 of two nitrogen levels 0 and 120 N kg ha as main plot and 8 drought-tolerant maize hybrids and 2 controls as subplot laid out in a randomized split plot design and replicated three times. Physiological parameters of hybrids were significantly affected by low nitrogen at both locations. Interaction between hybrids and nitrogen was significantly aeff cted at both locations. Based on these results, application of nitrogen significantly increased the physiological growth indices of maize hybrids. The extent of increment in physiological reactions was additionally higher in Zaria in view of higher soil natural carbon and nitrogen and higher precipitation was better dispersed at this area. However recent hybrids were more tolerant to nitrogen stress and out-yielded the older hybrids. eTh refore the recently released hybrids were more adapted to abiotic stresses. 1. Introduction high nitrogen uptake and high ability to utilize nitrogen accumulated inthe plant ingrain production. Nitrogen is Maize is a major important cereal crop being cultivated in the the most important element required for plant growth and savanna zones of Nigeria. It has been in the diet of Nigerians development. It is a key component in the manufacture of for centuries. It started as a subsistence crop and has gradually tissues and plays a major role in photosynthetic activity and crop yield . become more important crop. Maize thrives best in a warm climate and is now grown in most of the countries that Nitrogen being the most yield constraining supplement, have suitable climatic conditions . Maize is an important its pressure diminishes grain yield by deferring plant develop- ment and improvement. Normally for ideal yield generation crop for security, serving as cash and food crop and recently replacing some crops, such as sorghum in Nigeria, as the most nitrogen fertilization has by and large been resolved from consumed cereal. It is consumed as a vegetable although it is a field experimentation keeping distinctive rates of nitrogen grain crop . Maize is the most widely grown staple crop in compost application . Henceforth, use of nitrogen has been Africa; more than 300 million Africans depend on it as their outstanding among other methods for supplying nitrogen main food source. Improving maize grain yield is a substantial to convene this high demand. At low nitrogen supply, crop challenge given the reliance on maize for food, feed, b fi er, growth rate slows down causing reproductive structures to and fuel . The moist savannas of West Africa have great decline, as a result lower physiological components and maize grain yield and its components are achieved. Similarly the potential for maize production. Higher radiation levels, lower night temperatures, and reduced incidence of diseases and deficiency of nitrogen is evident in the reduction of light insect pests increase yield potential in comparison with interception by decreasing leaf area index, which results in lower grain yield . A deeper understanding of the the traditional area (forest zone) for maize cultivation . Recently, researchers have linked maize grain yield to both physiological determinants of maize endurance to the applied 2 Advances in Agriculture nitrogen may play a pivotal role to accomplish greater yield to serve as borders. Observations were made and data was plateau by revealing ways to achieve a better resource use collected for growth and physiological parameters. and capture in the next decades. The study was therefore Data was collected on the following parameters. conducted to determine the physiological responses of maize- Plant Height. At maturity, vfi e plants were selected randomly hybrids under low nitrogen. from each plot. Their plant height was measured in meters from the soil surface to the rfi st tassel branch with the help of 2. Materials and Methods a meter rule and the average plant height was recorded. The experiment was conducted in two locations at Tudun Chlorophyll Content. Chlorophyll content was estimated ∘ ∘ ∘ Wada, Kano (11 11 N, 8 24 E) and Shika, Zaria (11 11 Nand using Minolta chlorophyll meter (SPAD 502, Illinois, USA). ∘ 7 38 E) in the Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria. Ten Soil-Plant-Analysis-Development (SPAD) readings were recently developed maize hybrids were evaluated at two taken at two-thirds of the distance from the leaf tip (without −1 nitrogen levels 0 and 120 kg N ha . Eight hybrids were the midrib) towards the stem of the ear leaf and leaf under (M0826-7, M0926-8, M1026-10, M1026-13, M1124-4, M1124- ear (aer ft silking). Five leaves were measured at random in 10, M1227-12, and M1227-14) and two widely cultivated maize the plot and a mean SPAD value was calculated and recorded hybrids (Oba-98 and Oba super-1). In both years, the trials for each plot. were laid out in a split plot design with three replications. −1 Two nitrogen levels 0 and 120 kg N ha were main plots, Intercepted Photosynthetically Active Radiation (IPAR) and whereas the ten hybrids were the subplots within each main Leaf Area Index (LAI).Nondestructive IPAR and LAI plot. were measured simultaneously at the full maize tasselling Field data were collected from the two middle rows of stages using AccuPAR model LP-80 PAR/LAI Ceptometer each plot leaving the outside rows and a distance of 25 cm at (Decagon Devices, Inc. Pullman, USA). Ceptometer mea- theendsof eachmiddlerow toserveasborders.Eachplotsize surements of incident light above and below the canopies measured 3 m× 5m (15m ) consisting of 4 rows of 0.75 m were used to estimate IPAR. Five PAR measurements above apart and 5 m in length, while the net plot size measured and below the maize canopy were taken from each plot and 1.5 m× 4.5 m (6.75 m ). Alley way of 0.75 m between plots and the displayed average was recorded. The displayed LAI for each plot was also recorded. The sensor was placed diagonally 2 m between replications giving a total area of 1848.75 m per across the two inner rows at ground level so that the ends replication and 5981.25 m for the gross experimental area. of the sensor coincide with the line of the plants in each The land was ploughed and ridged with work bulls mounted row. Observations were taking under cloud free conditions with plough. The ridges were made 0.75 m apart and the between 12:00 noon and 14:00 hours. plots were then laid out as per the number of treatment. Two In each plot, the IPAR was calculated as seeds were planted per holes at a spacing of 25 cm intraraw and thinned to 1 plant per stand. At one week after planting PARb IPAR=[1.0−( )] (1) (WAP), Phosphorus and potassium were applied to low nitro- PARa gen treatment plots using triple super phosphate (TSP) and −1 where muriate of potash (MOP) fertilizers at the rate of 60 kg ha , −1 IPAR = intercepted PAR, respectively. NPK 15:15:15 was used to supply 60 kg ha of N, - - PARa = PAR𝜇 mol m s measured above maize canopy, P, and K at one week after planting for the optimal nitrogen - - PARb = PAR𝜇 mol m s measured below maize canopy. application plots and was top dressed with urea at the rate of −1 60 kg N ha at 5 WAP. Aeft r planting, the area was sprayed with preemergence herbicide Gramoxone (1:1-dimethyl-4, 4- 3. Data Analysis bipyridinium dichloride, manufactured by Syngenta Crop The data thus obtained were subjected to the analysis of protection AG, Switzerland) at the rate of 276 g a.i/liter and 2 variance technique by using GenSTAT computer sowa ft re liters/ha. Weeding was done at 3 WAP, using a hoe. At 6 WAP, and means were separated by LSD test. weeding was done by hand pulling method. Pests and diseases 5% attacks were treated using appropriate agrochemicals at the recommended rates. Harvesting was carried out when the cob 4. Results and Discussion reached maturity, from the net plot i.e., the two inner most middle rows in the plots. Soil samples from all the locations The two middle rows were considered as net plot and used for (Shika,Zaria,andTudunWada)were collectedat 0-15 cmand data collection. 15 -30 cm depths prior to nitrogen application/planting and Plant Height (cm).As shown in Table 1,the plant height these were analyzed for physicochemical properties; texture, of maize as affected by nitrogen, maize hybrids and their available P, total N, pH, organic carbon, and exchangeable bases. Data on rainfall was utilized in the two locations for interaction, hybrids grown in 2014 showed significantly taller plants when compared with those grown in 2016 at Zaria the purpose of this study. This was determined using Weather but not signicfi antly dieff rent at Tudun Wada. Nitrogen Stations device (2000 Series, Spectrum Technologies, USA). application was also observed to significantly aec ff t plant Data was collected from the two middle rows and a distance −1 of two stands at the ends of each middle row was allowed height of maize. At Zaria, nitrogen applied at 120 kg N ha Advances in Agriculture 3 ff fi fi ff Table 1: Eect of nitrogen on plant height chlorophyll content, leaf area index, and intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) on maize -hybrids in 2014 and 2016 rainy season at Tudun and Zaria combined. Tudun Wada Zaria Treatments Year Plant height Chlorophyll content IPAR Plant height Chlorophyll content IPAR LAI LAI −2 −2 −2 −2 (cm) (SPAD) ( mol m s)(cm) (SPAD) ( mol m s ) b b b a b 2014 182.90 35.88 1.35 0.25 189.00 35.59 2.48 0.48 a a a b a 2016 176.70 36.28 1.32 2.32 175.00 40.45 2.32 2.24 SED 6.081 0.796 0.899 0.083 4.765 0.318 0.182 0.055 Nitrogen (kg N ha ) b b b b b b b 0177.50 33.54 1.29 0.94 126.00 29.15 1.89 1.16 a a a a a a a 120 182.20 38.62 2.31 1.64 178.00 46.89 2.91 1.56 SED 4.313 0.593 0.062 0.091 1.541 16.034 0.121 0.082 Hybrid d abc cd M0826-7 172.90 33.97 0.42 1.24 184.00 41.23 2.44 1.40 a-d ab ab M0926-8 180.70 35.28 0.49 1.32 174.00 37.94 2.46 1.55 d ab abc M1026-10 174.40 38.61 0.47 1.30 190.00 37.78 2.53 1.42 a bc a M1026-13 189.30 38.65 0.47 1.21 187.00 39.48 2.40 1.63 abc a abc M1124-10 184.40 38.68 0.47 1.43 186.00 39.97 2.35 1.15 cd ab d M1124-4 176.10 37.78 0.47 1.35 185.00 37.11 2.31 1.44 ab c bcd M1227-12 186.50 34.77 0.49 1.08 183.00 37.06 2.51 1.21 cd a bcd M1227-14 176.20 36.75 0.52 1.38 181.00 39.16 2.55 1.34 a-d bc a-d Oba – 98 180.10 33.74 0.48 1.22 160.00 34.97 2.47 1.26 bcd ab abc Oba – Super -1 177.40 32.58 0.52 1.34 161.00 35.49 2.25 1.24 SED 6.659 3.283 0.083 0.097 7.392 2.194 0.152 0.216 Interaction Y∗NNS NS ∗∗ ∗ NS NS ∗ Y∗ H ∗ NS NS NS NS NS NS NS N∗H NSNS NS NS NSNS NS NS Y∗N∗H NSNS NS NS NSNS NS NS Means followed by the same letter(s) within columns are not significantly different using Fisher’s protected LSD. NS = not signicant at 5 % level of condence. SED = standard error of a dierence. Y = year. P = population. H = hybrids. 4 Advances in Agriculture Table 2: Interaction between year and nitrogen on photosynthetic active radiation (par) and leaf area index at Tudun Wada and photosynthetic active radiation (par) and plant height at Zaria of maize-hybrids in 2014 and 2016. Treatments Tudun Wada Zaria Nitrogen (Kg N ha ) Year 0 120 0 120 0 120 0 120 IPAR Leaf area index IPAR Plant height c c b a c c c ab 2014 0.23 0.28 2.19 2.77 0.38 0.59 82.80 176.30 b a b a b a b a 2016 1.59 3.05 1.59 3.05 1.74 2.75 169.3 180.80 SED 0.083 0.271 0.055 4.765 Means followed by the same letter(s) within rows and columns are not significantly different using DMRT. SED = standard error of a dieff rence. produced taller plants (178.0 cm) than the control (126.0) supply of nitrogen, plants maintain their chlorophyll content but not signicfi antly dieff rent at Tudun Wada. Maize hybrids for a long time. Hybrids x nitrogen interaction was not also significantly differ in their plant height. Hybrid M1026- signicfi ant for chlorophyll content at both locations. 13 produced significantly taller plants (189.30) than most of Leaf Area Index. Leaf area index of maize as affected by the hybrids but was similar with hybrids M0926-8, M1124- nitrogen, maize hybrids, and their interactions is presented in 10, M1227-12, and Oba-98 at Tudun Wada. Looking at Zaria, Table 1. Leaf area index was significantly higher in 2014 than hybrid M1026-10 produced significantly taller plants (190.0) in 2016 at Zaria. Differences between years were not signifi- while shortest plants were produced with hybrids Oba-98 −1 cant at Tudun Wada. Application of nitrogen at 120 kg N ha and Oba super-1 (160.0, 161.0), respectively. The significant increase in plant height with application of nitrogen at produced significantly higher leaf area index than the control −1 at both locations. Leaf area index did not significantly differ 120 kg N ha might be due to increase level of nitrogen as it among maize hybrids at both locations. The increase in LAI increases cell division, cell elongation, and nuclear formation. with increasing nitrogen application indicates the positive Similar to [7, 8],  reported that the application of higher effect of nitrogen on the growth of the meristem and the dose of nitrogen produced maximum emergence in maize appearance and development of leaves. Higher LAI allows and also increased plant elongation and yield. The interaction hybrids to intercept more light and efficient photosynthetic between nitrogen and maize hybrids was not significant system, which played vital role in the development of lengthy at Tudun Wada. Significant interaction between year and cobs. Increase in LAI with increasing nitrogen fertilizer was nitrogen was observed at Zaria. reported by . Reference  reported that increasing Table 2 presents the interaction between year and nitrogen fertilizer significantly increases plant height. The nitrogen on plant height of maize. Nitrogen applied at −1 increase in plant height in response to application of nitrogen 120 kg N ha produced significantly taller plants than the fertilizer is probably due to availability of nitrogen, which control in all the years. Data on Table 2 also shows the enhanced more leaf area resulting in higher photo assimilates interaction between year and hybrids on plant height of maize and hence more dry matter accumulation. Year x nitrogen at Tudun Wada. Hybrid M1026-13 produced significantly interaction was significant for LAI at Tudun Wada but not taller plants than other hybrids but at par with hybrids M1124- signicfi antly dieff rent at Zaria (Table 2). The highest LAI was 10 and M1227-12 in 2014, and in 2016 it was at par with M1124- −1 −1 with 120 kg N ha in 2016 and was at par with 120 kg N ha 10, M1124-4, M1124-10, and M1227-12. in 2014. The least was with the control in 2016, which was also Chlorophyll Content (SPAD).As can be seen from Table 1,the statistically the same with the control in 2014. effect of nitrogen on chlorophyll content of maize and their Intercepted Photosynthetically Active Radiation.Data on IPAR interaction, SPAD meter reading of chlorophyll content was of maize as affected by nitrogen, maize hybrids, and their higher for hybrids grown in 2016 than that of 2014 (35.59) interaction is presented in Table 1. Photosynthetically active at Zaria. Differences between years were not significant radiation was significantly higher in 2016 than in 2014 at at Tudun Wada. At both locations, application of N at −1 −1 both locations. Nitrogen applied at 120 kg N ha also had 120 kg ha showed significantly higher chlorophyll content than the control. Chlorophyll content did not significantly significantly higher PAR (0.94, 1.16) than the control at both locations. Photosynthetically active radiation did not differ among maize hybrids at both locations. The significant increase in chlorophyll content with application of nitrogen significantly differ among maize hybrids at both locations. −1 The significant increase in PAR with application of nitrogen at 120 kg N ha is attributed to enhanced availability of −1 at 120 kg N ha is attributed to enhanced availability of nitrogen fertilizer which led to the increased interception of solar radiation by the canopy and also revealed that nitrogen nitrogen fertilizer which led to the functional leaf area and is a major component of chlorophyll essential for plant life. photosynthetic efficiency that increased interception of more solar radiation by the canopy during the growth period. Chlorophyll content was higher for the high nitrogen treat- ments . Reference  also reported that, with an adequate References [14, 15] reported that higher rate of nitrogen helps Advances in Agriculture 5 Table 3: Physical and chemical properties of soil at Tudun Wada and Zaria during 2014 and 2016 rainy season. Tudun Wada Zaria Year 2014 2016 2014 2016 Physical properties (g kg ) Sand 490 90 450 560 Silt 420 570 190 190 Clay 90 340 360 250 Textural class Clay loam Silty clay Sandy clay loam Sandy clay loam Chemical properties PH in H 0 1;1 6.60 6.18 5.80 5.54 −1 Organic carbon (mg kg ) 2.40 8.10 7.70 10.19 −1 Total N (mg kg ) 0.36 0.070 0.59 0.109 −1 Available P (mg kg ) 3.70 6.15 10.45 16.11 Exchangeable bases (cmol kg ) ++ Ca 2.86 0.15 4.78 0.57 K 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.06 ++ Na 0.11 0.56 0.13 0.53 ++ Mg 0.84 0.88 1.00 1.90 ECEC 3.88 1.62 3.29 3.07 Key. ECEC: effective cation exchange capacity. maintain functional leaf area and photosynthetic efficiency 6. Conclusions during the growth period, because of better utilization of The recent hybrids performed better to optimum nitrogen of solar radiation which favored photosynthetic capacity . −1 120 N kg ha than the commercial single cross (Oba super- This result is also supported by [17, 18] who concluded that 1) and top cross (Oba-98) hybrids. Physiological parameters main effect of nitrogen fertilizer was to increase the rate of of the hybrids were generally higher in Zaria than in Tudun leaf expansion. Low nitrogen reduces crop photosynthesis Wada. The extent of increment in physiological reactions was by reducing leaf area development and leaf photosynthe- additionally higher in Zaria in view of higher soil natural sis rate . Significant interaction was observed between carbon and nitrogen and higher precipitation was better year and nitrogen on PAR (Table 2). At Tudun Wada, −1 dispersed at this area. when 120 kg N ha was applied in 2016 PAR was found to be higher than all other treatment combinations at both locations. Data Availability The data used to support the findings of this study are 5. Soil Analysis of the Experimental Sites available from the corresponding author upon request. Table 3 shows the result of soil analysis at the experimental Conflicts of Interest sites of nitrogen trials. 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