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Water deficit and inflorescence development in Zea mays L.
, Aspinall D.
Annals of Botany
, 1976. V. 40. No. 1. P. 23–35
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A water deficit imposed during the period of terminal male inflorescence initiation and early development reduced both the growth rate and the mature size of that organ in Zea mays (cv. Iochief). Growth and development of the axillary shoots, the potential female inflorescences, was inhibited during the episode of water deficit but promoted thereafter. As a result, plants which had been subjected to a water deficit at that period produced 2–3 mature cobs and relatively large axillary shoots at the lower nodes, whereas plants supplied with water throughout produced a single mature cob and relatively small axillary shoots.A water deficit imposed during other growth phases did not produce this response and, moreover, a further period of deficit imposed later in development, following a deficit at the sensitive stage, inhibited the enlargement of the axillary shoots invoked by the earlier deficit. It did not, however, inhibit the enhanced floral development of those axillary shoots nor reverse the inhibition of tassel growth.The data are discussed in relation to correlative inhibition in Zea mays.