How to Increase Maize Productivity and Use Petiole App

One of the most important tasks, where Petiole App can be helpful, is measuring the boost in crop yield. Today we got scientific confirmation about the use of Petiole App for an experiment to increase maize productivity by presowing treatment of plant nutrition. Sounds interesting and intriguing? Then let’s go to more details.

Pre-sowing treatment of seeds with plant nutritions can Increase Maize Productivity.
Pre-sowing treatment of seeds with plant nutritions can Increase Maize Productivity.

Maize Productivity as an Agricultural Goal

Maize (Zea mays L.) is a promising model plant and it is also the most essential global crop for nutrition, animal feed as well as bioenergy. One of the core reasons why maize has extent wider than other major crops is based on its excellent adaptability. Also, its high yielding ability is one of the most important features because it demonstrates good yields under a wide range of environmental conditions.

However, maize has relatively low protein level, it serves as a principal food for millions of people worldwide. In particular, it is an important food for population in the developing countries.

At the same time, maize has different levels of yields depending on variety, geography, weather, etc. In fact, maize grain yields fluctuate between 2.5 and 9 t/ha. However, local production in excess of 20 t/ha has been recorded in Egypt – this is an exemption. It represents an outstanding transformation of photosynthesis-related solar radiation, good farming practises and successful pre-sowing treatment strategy into a record yields and exploitable biochemical energy which is considered among the highest crops.

Typically, maize grain yields fluctuate between 2.5 and 9 t/ha
Typically, maize grain yields fluctuate between 2.5 and 9 t/ha

There are two scientific ways how to improve maize productivity such as:

  • advances in crop improvement (through breeding) with developments in crop management;
  • directly associated with the search for improved crop management methods, a concerted effort, involving public and private agricultural service agencies and farmers to prioritise specific aspects of maize industry.

Hence, focus on crop management, crop improvement, and removing biotic and abiotic constraints for enhancing maize yield is the main goal to increase maize productivity globally.

Presowing Seed Treatment Of Plant Nutrition To Increase Maize Productivity

Topic of presowing seed treatment for maize isn’t new. Over the last decade there was a couple of research to estimate the results of pre-sowing maize seed treatment. We have considered some of them.

Thiamine and niacin with saline water irrigation

One of the experiments was focused on evaluation of the effect of the pre-sowing treatment of sweet maize seeds in solutions of thiamine, niacin and these two vitamins combined on the development of the plants irrigated with saline water.

It confirmed that pre-sowing treatment with the vitamin solutions effectively reduces the negative effect of salt stress on the initial development of sweet maize.

Magento Priming and KCI

Indian scientists researched effect of different pre-sowing seed treatments on growth and seed quality parameters of maize. They found that all the priming treatment showed significance difference with the control and the highest germination percent, seedling length, seedling fresh weight, seedling dry weight, vigour indices were observed for magneto priming with magnetic field (50 mt) for 60 minutes.

How to increase maize productivity: Mean performance of maize for eight seedling characters after pre-sowed treatment of corn seeds with magento priming and KCI
Mean performance of maize for eight seedling characters after pre-sowed treatment of corn seeds with magento priming and KCI

Magnetic field and  solution of potassium chloride (KCl) helps with the highest germination. In fact, seed priming, its simplicity and no requirement for expensive equipment and chemical could be used as a simple method for overcoming related to a poor germination and seedling establishment. It also helps to implement the best practises of sustainable agriculture and use of cost effective, non-toxic, eco-friendly sources.

Salicylic acid and sodium hydrosulfide

The different experiment with pre-sowing treatment of corn seeds with salicylic acid and sodium hydrosulfide alleviates of the lead stress adverse effects on growth parameters, total chlorophyll content, dicarbonyl stress, and lead-induced iron deficiency.

Low frequency electromagnetic radiation

Pre-sowing treatment of maize (as well as sunflower and soybean) seeds with low frequency electromagnetic radiation demonstrated that sowing qualities of maize seeds after 15 min of irradiation are higher than the control ones. Besides the scientists found the increase in germination energy, germination and seedling weight. Also, there was an increase in weight of stems and leaves, root system and stem height.

Pre-sowing treatment of maize seeds with low frequency electromagnetic radiation helps to increase maize productivity
Pre-sowing treatment of maize seeds with low frequency electromagnetic radiation helps to increase maize productivity

How does Petiole App measures the results of pre-sowing treatment

Ukrainian scientists from the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences and Institute of Energy Crops and Sugar Beet in collaboration, conducted an experiment on maize and published its results in April 2021.

They treated maize seeds with plant nutrition Mycofriend as well as bio-based products Mikovital and Florobacillin before sowing.

Crop scientists of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences (Ukraine) use Petiole App to measure leaf area when increasing maize productivity with biologies
Crop scientists of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences (Ukraine) use Petiole App to measure leaf area when increasing maize productivity with biologies

They found a strong impact on biometric indicators of maize, its productivity and soil moisture holding capacity. Particularly, when using mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria, they have received positive results about their influence on plant growth and development and maize yield forming.

Experiment to increase maize productivity

The basis of the research was located at the Institute of Bioenergy Crops and Sugar Beets of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. In particular, all the experiments took place at Veselopodilsk Research and Breeding Station (VPDSS), which is located on the Left-Bank Forest-Steppe of Ukraine. It has a soil cover with a diversity of colours but alkaline and weakly alkalinised chernozems predominate.

Type of bio-based products applied

The experiment has a focus on pre-sowing treatment of maize seeds with three products:

  • fungi Trichoderma harzianum RIFAI (Mycofriend bio-based product),
  • fungi Tuber melanosporum VITTAD (Mikovital bio-based product) and
  • bacteria Bacillus subtilis Cohn. (Florobacillin bio-based product)
The range of bio-based plant nutrition products for the experiment: Mycofriend, Mikovital and Florobacillin
The range of bio-based plant nutrition products for the experiment: Mycofriend, Mikovital and Florobacillin

The suggested benefits of these products are:

  1. active colonization of root and rhizosphere and increase in the area of absorption by the root system of plants due to formation and development of mycorrhiza;
  2. provision of plants with vitamins, phytohormones, amino acids as well as balanced mineral nutrition (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, etc);
  3. besides, it helps with improvement of seed germination, survival of seedlings and saplings.

Frequency of leaf surface area measurement and tools

Petiole app was a pre-selected tool for leaf surface area measurement during the experiment.

Leaf surface area in variants was counted on 30th, 60th, 90th and 120th days of vegetation and was estimated by 11.2-90.0% higher compared to the control.

Scientists used Petiole Leaf Area altogether with the Nichiporovich method. Also, this method is known as “Harvest Index”. The harvest index is expressed as the percent ratio between the economic yield and total biological yield and was suggested by A. A. Nichiporovich in 1951.

Traditionally, harvest index (HI) is an equation of the pounds of grain divided by the total pounds of above ground biomass (stover plus grain). As a general rule, in a normal year (for example, without any weather extremes) the harvest index will be 0.50.

Harvest Index of maize was one of the yield parameters in the research. Photo credit: Kelly Sikkema
Harvest Index of maize was one of the yield parameters in the research. Photo credit: Kelly Sikkema

Other measurements during the experiment with maize

There is an exceed in leaf mass and root system mass in comparison with control indicators by 24.0–48.9%, respectively. Plants height in these accounted periods was higher by 4.0–31.5% compared to the control.

In addition, in these variants, soil moisture holding capacity increased by 7.3–38.1%, share of soil lumps smaller than 0.25 mm decreased by 2.8–7.2%. Grain yield of Maize in variants with mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria was 1.64–2.68 t/ha higher than in the control.

Conclusions about pre-sowing treatment of maize

Pre-sowing treatment of plant nutrition such as Mycofriend, Mikovital and Florobacillin on maize seeds
contributes to enhancement of such bioenergy indicates of growth and development. In particular, root and leaves mass, plant’s height and leaf surface area are higher by 4,0-112,0% compared to control.


Due to symbiosis between mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria with maize plants’ root system, moisture holding capacity of soil and its physical state is better and grows by 2,8-38,1%. Finally, maize grain yield in variants, which had pre-sowed treatment with bio-based plant nutrition products, was higher by 1,65-2,68 t/ha compared to control. You can find the original of the article here.

Resources

  1. Ali A. Maize Productivity in the New Millennium. In: Awaad H., Abu-hashim M., Negm A. (eds) Mitigating Environmental Stresses for Agricultural Sustainability in Egypt. Springer Water. Springer, Cham. 2021. doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-64323-2_19
  2. Blackie MJ. Maize Productivity for the 21st Century: the African Challenge. Outlook on Agriculture. 1994;23(3):189-195. doi:10.1177/003072709402300306
  3. Dmytrov S., Sabluk V., Tanchyk S., Gumentyk M., Balagura O. Increasing maize productivity by presowing usage of biologies Mycofriend, Mikovital and Florobacillin. International Conference on Sustainable, Circular Management and Environmental Engineering (ISCMEE 2021). 255. doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/202125501006
  4. Krishna Y., Kumar P., Chandra R., Ajith V. Effect of Different Pre-sowing Seed Treatments on Growth and Seed Quality Parameters of Maize (Zea mays L.). International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences 2019. 8(7): 2826-2833. doi.org/10.20546/ijcmas.2019.807.353
  5. Levina N., Tertyshnaya Y., Bidey I., Elizarova O. Pre-sowing treatment of sunflower, soybean and maize seeds with low-frequency electromagnetic radiation. Agricultural Machinery and Technologies. 2018. 12. 22-28. doi.org/10.22314/2073-7599-2018-12-4-22-28.
  6. Pradi Vendruscolo, E., Seleguini, A. Effects of vitamin pre-sowing treatment on sweet maize seedlings irrigated with saline water. Acta AgronĂłmica , 2020, 69 (1), 20-25. doi.org/10.15446/acag.v69n1.67528
  7. Zanganeh, R., Jamei, R., Rahmani, F. Pre- sowing seed treatment with salicylic acid and sodium hydrosulfide confers Pb toxicity tolerance in maize (Zea mays L.). Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 2020. 206, p.111392. doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111392.

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