Article

Bases morfofisiológicas para maior tolerância dos híbridos modernos de milho a altas densidades de plantas

Bragantia 01/2002; DOI: 10.1590/S0006-87052002000200003
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT O lançamento de híbridos de milho tolerantes ao aumento da densidade de plantas contribuiu para o incremento do potencial produtivo da cultura na segunda metade do século XX. Objetiva-se com esta revisão de literatura discutir características morfológicas, fisiológicas, fenológicas e alométricas que contribuíram para maior adaptação do milho a elevadas densidades de plantas. Os processos de seleção utilizados pelos melhoristas minimizaram a natureza protândrica da planta, reduzindo o tamanho do pendão. Isso propiciou desenvolvimento alométrico mais equilibrado entre as inflorescências masculina e feminina, limitou a esterilidade feminina e favoreceu a sincronia entre antese e espigamento. O ideotipo de planta compacto dos híbridos modernos, caracterizado pela presença de plantas baixas, com menor número de folhas e folhas eretas, melhorou a qualidade da luz no interior do dossel, contribuindo para reduzir a dominância apical do pendão sobre as espigas. A menor produção de fitomassa reduziu a competição intra-específica e aumentou a eficiência de uso dos fatores ambientais, disponibilizando mais carboidratos para atender às diferentes demandas da planta na fase reprodutiva. O maior equilíbrio nas relações entre fonte e dreno contribuiu para retardar a senescência foliar, resultando em maior absorção de nutrientes e maior eficiência de uso do nitrogênio. O desenvolvimento de híbridos com menor estatura e espigas mais próximas do solo reduziu a quantidade de plantas acamadas e quebradas. A compreensão das bases morfofisiológicas responsáveis pela maior tolerância do milho à competição intra-específica auxiliará melhoristas e fisiologistas a maximizar a eficiência do arranjo de plantas para alcançar altos rendimentos.

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