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Revista mexicana de ciencias agrícolas

Print version ISSN 2007-0934

Rev. Mex. Cienc. Agríc vol.7 n.8 Texcoco Nov./Dec. 2016



Grain yield and phenotypic characteristics of maize: effect of environment and fertilization doses

Noel Orlando Gómez Montiel2 

Francisco Palemón Alberto1  § 

Guadalupe Reyes García1 

César del Ángel Hernández Galeno2 

Miguel Ángel Cantú Almaguer2 

Porfirio Juárez López3 

Ada Ascencio Álvarez4 

1Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero. Periférico poniente s/n. Colonia Villa de Guadalupe. CP. 40020. Tel-Fax. 01 (733) 33 3 47 76. (

2Campo Experimental Iguala-INIFAP. Carretera Iguala-Tuxpan km 2.5. CP. 40000. Tel-Fax: 01 800 088 2222. (;;

3Universidad Autónoma del estado de Morelos. Avenida Universidad 1001. CP. 62210. Cuernavaca, Morelos, México. (

4Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca. Instituto de industrias. Carretera a Acatlima km 2.5. CP. 69000. Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca. (


Corn is the main source of food and the largest crop cultivated in Mexico. In the state of Guerrero there is great diversity of agro-ecological regions distinguished by its altitude, temperature, soil type, rainfall distribution, where farmers grow hybrid varieties and native population’s of corn under irrigation and rainfed conditions. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of different doses of nitrogen and phosphorus in phenotypic characteristics and yield of three maize genotypes in two environments in the northern region of the state of Guerrero. The experiment was established in Iguala and Apaxtla, Guerrero during the spring-summer cycle - 2013. The genotypes were VS-535, A-7573 and V-537C. Nitrogen doses (100, 150 and 200 kg ha-1) and phosphorus (60, 90 and 120 kg ha-1), under a randomized complete block design with three replications in factorial arrangement. The experimental unit consisted of four rows of five meters length, row spacing 0.80 m. Recording: plant height, ear height, cob health, grain yield. The results indicated that in the four quantified variables, significant effects were detected. In Apaxtla, plant height, ear height, cob health and grain yield were higher than those observed in Iguala, Guerrero. Treatment nine (VS-535 + 200N + 120P) expressed greater cob health and grain yield. V-537C was higher in plant height and grain yield compared to VS-535 and A-7573, and the three genotypes were similar in height and cob health. The application of 200 units of N increased plant height and 90 units of P increased ear height, cob health and grain yield t ha-1.

Keywords: Zea mays L.; fertilization dose; phenotypic characteristics and grain yield


El maíz es la principal fuente de alimento y es el cultivo que mayor superficie ocupa en México. En el estado de Guerrero existe gran diversidad de regiones agroecológicas que se distinguen por su altitud, temperatura, tipo de suelo, distribución de lluvias, donde los agricultores siembran híbridos, variedades y poblaciones nativas de maíz bajo condiciones de riego y temporal. El objetivo del presente trabajo fue examinar el efecto de diferentes dosis de nitrógeno y fósforo, en características fenotípicas y rendimiento de tres genotipos de maíz en dos ambientes de la región norte del estado de Guerrero. El experimento se estableció en Iguala y Apaxtla, Guerrero en el ciclo primavera verano - 2013. Los genotipos fueron VS-535, A-7573 y V-537C. Se estudiaron dosis de nitrógeno (100, 150 y 200 kg ha-1) y de fósforo (60, 90 y 120 kg ha-1), bajo un diseño experimental de bloques completos al azar con tres repeticiones en arreglo factorial. La unidad experimental fue de cuatro surcos de cinco metros de longitud, distancia entre surcos a 0.80 m. Se cuantificaron: altura de la planta, altura de mazorca, sanidad de la mazorca, rendimiento de grano. Los resultados indicaron que en las cuatro variables cuantificadas, se detectaron efectos significativos. En Apaxtla, la altura de planta, altura de mazorca, sanidad de la mazorca y rendimiento de grano fueron superiores a los observados en Iguala, Guerrero. El tratamiento nueve (VS-535+200N+120P) expresó mayor sanidad de mazorca y rendimiento de grano. La V-537C fue superior en altura de planta y rendimiento de grano respecto a VS-535 y A-7573, y fueron semejantes los tres genotipos en altura y sanidad de la mazorca. La aplicación de 200 unidades de N aumentó la altura de planta y 90 unidades de P incrementó la altura de mazorca, sanidad de la mazorca y rendimiento de grano t ha-1.

Palabras clave: Zea mays L.; dosis de fertilización; características fenotípicas y rendimiento de grano


Mexico is the center of maize genetic diversity (Zea mays L.) and important in social and economic aspects, basic for human and animal feed. In this culture there have been several studies to quantify minerals (Menkir, 2008), protein, lysine and tryptophan (Zepeda et al., 2009), oil (Torres et al., 2010), starch biosynthesis (Agama et al., 2013), provitamin A (Pillay et al., 2014; Owens et al., 2014).

In tropical and subtropical conditions in the northern region of Guerrero, there are different agro-ecological conditions (Palemón et al., 2012), where the main food is tortilla; in addition, farmers have agreed to sow corn genotypes like the synthetic variety VS-535 which is used as corn, forage and grain, trilinear hybrid A-7573 mainly for corn and grain yield; the V-537C variety with protein quality for environmental conditions similar to this region which can be an alternative to strengthen the nutritional level mainly in indigenous communities, since consuming this type of grain in its content presents the essential amino acids such as lysine and tryptophan (Gómez et al., 2003).

Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential nutrients for growth and development of the plant, nitrogen plays an important role in chlorophyll, enzymes, proteins and nucleic acids production in cereals (Adediran and Banjoko, 1995; Shanti et al., 1997). Nitrogen mobilizes through the stem and leaf (Ciampitti and Vyn, 2013). Adequate supply of nitrogen improves grain yield of maize, mainly in the increase of grain number (Uribelarrea et al., 2004; Khaliq et al., 2009).

Nitrogen application influences grain yield, corn stover, improves its quality and protein content (Haque et al., 2001). Plant height, stem diameter, green forage yield, protein, fiber and total ash content, increases by applying high doses of nitrogen. Phosphorus contributes to the formation of nucleic acids, cellular respiration, metabolic activity and when applied together phosphorus and nitrogen affect grain yield, forage quality (Patel et al., 1997), plant height and leaves number per plant (Masood et al., 2011). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of different doses of nitrogen and phosphorus in phenotypic characteristics and yield of three maize genotypes in two environments in the northern region of the state of Guerrero.

Materials and methods

The experiment was established in the localities of Apaxtla and Iguala, Guerrero in the agricultural cycle, springsummer 2013. Geographical coordinates of Apaxtla are 18° 08᾿ 15’’ north latitude and 99° 55᾿ 79’’ west longitude, with respect to prime meridian, with an altitude of 1 200 m. Iguala is located at 18° 20᾿ 45’’ north latitude and 99° 30᾿19’’west longitude at an altitude of 774 m, Awo (w) (i) g climate and an average rainfall in summer of 977 mm (García, 1988). The genetic material evaluated in the experiment was VS535, V-537C varieties and hybrid Asgrow A-7573. The synthetic variety VS-535 was released by the Experimental Field Iguala, under INIFAP in 1993 and to date it continues to sow for its characteristics that corn, forage and grain present, Dr. Noel Orlando Gómez Montiel. C. E. Iguala INIFAP. Pers. Com.

V-537C is open-pollinated, from the population poza Rica 8763, characterized by having germplasm Tuxpeño race and has indented grain, and adapts in regions of medium productive potential from the tropics of Mexico, with hot and humid climates and sub-humid at altitudes from 0 to 1 200 m (Gómez et al., 2003). The Trilinear hybrid A-7573 corresponds to the private seed company Asgrow-Monsanto (Sánchez et al., 2013). The experimental design was randomized complete block with factorial arrangement, three replications, where the following factors are involved: genotypes, VS-535, V-537-C and A-7573; nitrogen (N) doses with 100, 150 and 200 kg ha-1 and phosphorus (P) doses with 60, 90 and 120 kg ha-1. The experimental unit was formed by four rows 5 m length and 0.85 wide, both experiments were conducted under rainfed (unirrigated).

Fertilizer sources were nitrogen (urea 46%) and phosphorus (diammonium phosphate), applications were made at 25, 40 and 55 days after planting for the case of N and all P was applied in the first date. Measured variables: plant height (cm), ear height (cm), cob health (scale 1-9); where scoring was with a 1 to 9 scale: where; 1 means ill and 9 healthy cob and grain yield was adjusted to 12% moisture for both locations. Combined analysis of variance for localities was performed through the following statistical model:

Yijklm=µ+Li+Gj+Nk+Pl+(G*N)jk+(G*P)jl+(N*P)kl+(G*N*P)jkl+(Loc*G)ij+(Loc*N)ik+(Loc*P)il+(Loc*G*N)ijk+(Loc*G*P)ijl+(Loc*N*P)ikl+(Loc*G *N*P)ijkl+Bm+Eijklm

Where: Yijkl: observation of the study variable Y; μ: overall average of the study variable Y; Li: effect of i-th location. Gi: effect of the ith genotype; Nj: effect of jth dose of nitrogen; Pk: effect of dose kth phosphorus; (G*N) jk: effect of the interaction genotype and nitrogen dose; (G*P) jl: effect of the interaction genotype and phosphorus dose; (N*P) kl: effect of the interaction nitrogen and phosphorus; (G*N*P)jkl: effect of triple interaction genotype, nitrogen and phosphorus dose; (Loc*G)ij: interaction effect genotype by town; (Loc*N)ik: interaction effect of locality by nitrogen dose; (Loc*P)il: interaction effect genotype, nitrogen dose and phosphorus dose; (Loc*G*N)ijk: triple interaction effect locality, genotype and nitrogen dose; (Loc*G*P)IJL: triple interaction effect locality, genotype and phosphorus dose; (Loc * N * P)IKL: triple interaction effect locality, nitrogen and phosphorus dose; (Loc*G*N*P)ijkl: quadruple interaction effect locality, genotype, nitrogen and phosphorus dose; Bm: it is the effect of m-th block; Eijkl: it is the random error (effect of uncontrolled factors).

In addition, the mean comparison test was performed with Tukey (p≤ 0.01 and p≤ 0.05) using SAS statistical software version 9.0.

Results and discussion

Analysis of variance

Combined Anova of localities generated 19 sources of variation, and mean squares, averages, coefficients of variation are shown on (Table 1), in addition a multiple range test was performed to localities, treatments, genotypes, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) doses, for the four variables tested (Tables 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6).

Table 1 Mean squares obtained from the combined analysis of variance for four variables measured in three maize genotypes, evaluated in two locations. 

Fuente de variación Cuadrados medios
Localidades (L) 1 36868.19 ** 6052.45 ** 9.88 ** 3.38
Repeticiones 2 531.71 19.94 0.01 6.79
Tratamientos (T) 26 201.11 58.85 0.66** 3.77 **
LxT 26 234.27 66.04 0.04 0.32
Genotipos (G) 2 864.49 * 172.1 * 0.34 9.09 **
Nitrógeno (N) 2 118.69 30.89 0.58 9.01 **
Fósforo (P) 2 154.31 195.04 * 0.77 * 1.71
G x N 4 60.04 54.81 0.29 0.51
G x P 4 55.85 0.5 0.91 ** 5.39 **
N x P 4 166.08 64.56 1.83 ** 5.39 **
G x N x P 8 228.25 31.8 0.22 1.64
L x G 2 71.53 19.25 0.06 0.24
L x N 2 135.62 66.49 0.02 0.45
L x P 2 83.24 47.88 0.08 0.09
L x G x N 4 190.73 46.49 0.05 0.51
L x G x P 4 165.66 124.08 0.02 0.22
L x N x P 4 540.93 69.13 0.01 0.19
L x G x N x P 8 240.11 61.36 0.05 0.39
Error 132 283.81 60.31 0.18 0.99
Media 241.06 93.19 5.41 7.97
CV (%) 6.99 8.33 18.42 5.26

GL= grados de libertad; ADP= altura de planta; ADMz= altura de mazorca; SDMz= sanidad de la mazorca; RGr= rendimiento de grano t ha-1; L= localidades; T= tratamientos; G= genotipos; N= nitrógeno; P= fósforo; CV (%): coeficiente de variación en porcentaje. * y **= significativo y altamente significativo al 0.01 y 0.05%.

In plant height (ADP), ear height (ADMz) and cob health (SDMz), highly significant differences (p≤ 0.01) were observed, whereas for grain yield (RGr) no significant changes were detected in the source of variation localities. Regarding treatments, ADP and ADMz did not record statistical significance; while SDMz and RGr in t ha-1, significant effects were observed. Regarding interaction L x G no statistical significance was detected in the four variables (Table 1). This result indicates that when assessing genotypes (VS-535, V-537C and A-7573) in both environments were not affected, because the four traits were statistically similar.

Significant changes occurred in the three traits measured in maize genotypes (VS-535, V-537-C and A-7573), is due to genetic potential and consistency to the environmental conditions to which were exposed (Sierra et al., 2002; Palemón et al., 2011).

For the nitrogen factor, statistical significance was detected in RGr; while in ADP, ADMz and SDMz, there were no significant changes. These results suggest that the three levels of N (100, 150 and 200) applied to the genotypes showed statistically similar traits in both environments, except RGr (Table 1).

As for phosphorus dose, significant effects were detected in ADMz and SDMz, while ADP and RGr, no significant changes were observed when applying 60, 90 and 120 units of P. These results indicate that phosphorus levels applied in the three genotypes assessed in the localities of Iguala and Apaxtla were not the adequate doses to achieve optimum grain yield.

Regarding interactions genotype by phosphorus (G x P) and nitrogen by phosphorus (N x P), highly significant effects were detected in SDMz and RGr, however, ADP and ADMz, there was no statistical significance. These results indicate that a dose of P applied in the three genotypes significantly affected two variables; while combining N x P did not modify significantly plant and ear height in the three genotypes. In combinations G x N, G x N x P, L x G, L x N, L x P, L x G x N, L x G x P, L x N x P, L x G x N x P, no significant effects were detected in the four variables measured in genotypes (VS-535, V-537C and A-7573) evaluated in the localities of Iguala and Apaxtla. This result indicates that as an interaction is more complex has no effect on the genotype traits when evaluated in two environments, it is important to assess them in more environmental conditions to see if these are stable (Table 1).

Means comparison of localities

Generally, when comparing average plant height of localities, it was observed that in Iguala, was lower (226 cm) than in Apaxtla (256.2 cm); that is, a difference of 30 cm was found. In ADMz and SDMz, the same trend was observed, because in the locality of Apaxtla genotypes showed statistically higher values than those obtained in Iguala (Table 2). The response of varieties VS-535, V-537C and hybrid A-7573 were favored in the locality of Apaxtla, because the altitude of 1182 m and average temperature 30 °C differ to those recorded in Iguala (740 m 37 °C), this behavior indicates that the varieties were selected to suit altitudes from 0 to 1 200 m (Gomez et al., 2003).

Table 2 Means comparison of four phenotypic variables and yield of three maize genotypes evaluated in two locations. 

Variables Localidades
Iguala Apaxtla Media DMS (0.05)
Altura de planta (cm) 225.9 ab 256.2 a 241.1 5.23
Altura de mazorca (cm) 87 ab 99.3 a 93.2 2.41
Sanidad de mazorca 7.7 ab 8.2 a 7.9 0.13
Rendimiento de grano (t ha-1) 5.2 ab 5.6 a 5.4 0.3

DSH= diferencia significativa honesta (tukey= α = p≤ 0.05); variables con la misma letra, son estadísticamente iguales.

In the town of Apaxtla more than 400 kg of grain yield t ha-1 was recorded; this means that each locality has specific characteristics (p≤ 0.05) for genotypes to express their maximum production potential from one environment to another.

Means comparison of treatments

By comparing 27 treatments average, significant differences (p≤ 0.05) were detected in variables measured, except in plant height (ADP) and ear height (ADMz), this result indicates that applying the nine combinations of nitrogen + phosphorus in each genotype did not modify the size of the plant and ear in both environments, as this were statistically similar (Table 3). Regarding cob health, the highest value observed was in treatment nine (VS-535 + 200N + 120P), while statistically lower values were recorded in three treatments (VS-535 + 150N + 120P, A-7573 + 150N + 120P, V-537C + 100N + 60P), and the remaining 23 combinations were similar to the highest value recorded in VS-535 + 200N + 120P.

Table 3 Means comparison of fertilization doses with N and P, and its effect on phenotypic characteristics and yield of genotypes VS-535, A-7573 and V-537C evaluated in two localities. 

Tratamientos ADP ADMz SDMz RGr
1. VS-535+100-60 229.8 a 88.3 a 7.8 abcd 5.3 abcd
2. VS-535+100-90 240.3 a 92.4 a 7.9 abcd 4.6 abcd
3. VS-535+100-120 236.4 a 91.7 a 8.1 abcd 5.3 abcd
4. VS-535+150-60 232.2 a 90.6 a 8.2 abcd 5.1 abcd
5. VS-535+150-90 244.1 a 97.4 a 8.3 abcd 6 abcd
6. VS-535+150-120 241.3 a 93.7 a 7.5 abcd 4.5 abcd
7. VS-535+200-60 245.5 a 96.5 a 8.3 abcd 6.1 abcd
8. VS-535+200-90 231.2 a 93.5 a 7.8 abcd 4.8 abcd
9. VS-535+200-120 234.6 a 86 a 8.6 abcd 7.1 abcd
10. A-7573+100-60 230 a 92.7 a 7.9 abcd 4.8 abcd
11. A-7573+100-90 243.8 a 96.1 a 7.9 abcd 5.1 abcd
12. A-7573+100-120 245.4 a 91.3 a 7.6 abcd 4 abcd
13. A-7573+150-60 237.1 a 90 a 8.5 abcd 5.4 abcd
14. A-7573+150-90 243.1 a 94.5 a 8.4 abcd 5.9 abcd
15. A-7573+150-120 236.1 a 88.7 a 7.3 abcd 4.1 abcd
16. A-7573+200-60 245.2 a 92.3 a 7.9 abcd 6.1 abcd
17. A-7573+200-90 244.2 a 91.6 a 8 abcd 5.4 abcd
18. A-7573+200-120 241.2 a 91.7 a 7.6 abcd 4.3 abcd
19. V-537C+100-60 248.3 a 92.7 a 7.4 abcd 4.8 abcd
20. V-537C+100-90 241.2 a 94.7 a 7.9 abcd 5.6 abcd
21. V-537C+100-120 242.7 a 91.5 a 8.2 abcd 5.9 abcd
22. V-537C+150-60 245.2 a 95.1 a 8.3 abcd 6 abcd
23. V-537C+150-90 246.8 a 99.9 a 8.2 abcd 6.2 abcd
24. V-537C+150-120 241 a 95.1 a 7.8 abcd 5 abcd
25. V-537C+200-60 244.1 a 97.3 a 7.8 abcd 5.9 abcd
26. V-537C+200-90 251.8 a 97.2 a 8 abcd 6.3 abcd
27. V-537C+200-120 246.2 a 93.9 a 8 abcd 6.6 abcd
Media 241.1 93.2 7.97 5.4
DMS 35.8 16.6 1 2.3

ADP= altura de planta; ADMz= altura de mazorca; SDMz= sanidad de la mazorca; RGr= rendimiento de grano; variables con la misma letra estadísticamente son iguales. DSH= diferencia significativa honesta (tukey= α = p≤ 0.05). DSH= diferencia significativa honesta (tukey= α = p≤ 0.05).

Plant size tended to increase when the combination 200N-90P (251.8 cm) was applied to genotype V-537C; while the combination 100N-60P applied to VS-535 showed lower plant height (229.8 cm); i.e. ADP increased 22cm when comparing these two average values by effect of N + P, although not significantly. The results indicate that treatments (VS-535 + 200-60, 245.5 cm, A-7573 + 100-120, 245.4 cm, V-537C + 200-90, 251.8 cm) affected ADP with some combination of N + P to reach the average maximum of both environments. In general, the values obtained in ADMz were below to 1 m; this result indicates that in maize plants, there is a possibility that won’t lodge, because the plant will be balanced for having cobs in the middle and facilitate harvesting manually. The highest average value (8.6) observed in SDMz, was detected in combination 200N + 120P expressed by genotype VS535, statistically surpassed treatments (VS-535 + 150N + 120P, 7.5; A-7573 + 150N + 120P, 7.3 and V-537C + 100N + 60P, 7.4); while the lowest value (7.3) was for hybrid A-7573 with the formulation 150N-120P. These results suggest that the remaining 24 treatments showed statistically similar responses in SDMz of the three genotypes in Iguala and Apaxtla, which implies that the more healthy cobs are, higher production will be achieved.

As for grain yield t ha-1, treatment nine showed a higher value (7.1 t ha-1), although statistically did not exceed 19 treatments, however, lower values were recorded compared with the overall average (5.4), and were represented by VS-535 + 100N + 60P, VS-535 + 150N + 120P, A-7573 + 100N + 60P, A-7573 + 100N + 120P, A-7573 + 150N + 120P, A-7573 + 200N + 120P , V-537C + 100N + 60P (Table 3). The synthetic variety VS-535 was evaluated in the Mountain region (locality Olinalá) and Northern region (locality Teloloapan), applying 120N + 90P ha-1 and showed the following characteristics: plant height (110.25 cm), cob health (7.2) and grain yield t ha-1 (4.377), respectively (Palemón et al., 2012). Mukhtar et a.l. (2011) mention that by increasing nitrogen and phosphorus levels (300 N - 150 P) the thousand grain weight decreases, grains number per ear and grain yield. Kogbe and Adediran (2003) applied the formulation 100N-40P detecting increased corn grain yield.

Means comparison of genotypes

When comparing phenotypic characteristics of the three maize genotypes, it was observed that V-537C showed the highest ADP and did not exceed hybrid A-7573, while VS535 was statistically lower (7.9 cm) in plant size. ADMz from genotypes VS-535, A-7573 and VS535 were statistically similar. Regarding SDMz, there were no significant changes since the three genotypes have ears with the same statistically health degree in both environments. Genotypes VS-535 and V-537C recorded average statistically equal; however, the hybrid A-7573 was below 900 kg grain yield t ha-1. The results indicate that the genotypes evaluated in Iguala and Apaxtla were not affected by the environment, because their ADMz and SDMz were similar. VS-535 was evaluated in the localities of Olinalá and Teloloapan, exhibiting similar characteristics to those found in this study (Palemón et al., 2012).

According to Ortiz et al. (2013) by evaluating 16 native maize populations and as control the hybrid A-7573 recorded 4.073 t ha-1 RGr, lower value (4.9) to that observed in this study. V-537C variety is considered a stable material as it produced 5.8 t ha-1 grain yield; similar to those reported by Sierra et al. (2002) average (5.46 RGr) from five locations; while Andres et al. (2014) reported 4.06 t ha-1, average from four locations.

Table 4 Means comparison of phenotypic characteristics and yield of three maize genotypes evaluated in Iguala and Apaxtla, Guerrero. 

Variables Genotipos Media DMS (0.05)
VS-535 A-7573 V-537C
Altura de planta 237.2 ab 240.7 ab 245.2 a 241.1 7.4
Altura de mazorca 92.2 a 92.1 a 95.3 a 93.2 3.4
Sanidad de la mazorca 8 a 7.8 a 7.9 a 7.9 0.2
Rendimiento de grano 5.4 ab 4.9 ab 5.8 a 5.4 0.4

DSH= diferencia significativa honesta (tukey= α = p≤ 0.05); variables con la misma letra estadísticamente son iguales.

Means comparison of nitrogen doses

Comparing the effects of fertilizer doses (100, 150 and 200 kg N) applied on genotypes VS-535, A-7573 and V-537C, it was observed that in phenotypic characteristics ADP, ADMz and SDMz were not detected significant changes; however, there is a tendency that increasing fertilization dose plant height, ear height and cob health increases are not significantly. The results suggest that not finding significant changes in the phenotypic characteristics (ADP, ADMz and SDMz) of genotypes, it is possible to recommend the application of 100 units of nitrogen; however, if the doses of 150 and 200 N are applied, increases the production cost of corn (Table 5).

Table 5 Means comparison of fertilization doses effect in four quantified variables in three maize genotypes, evaluated in two locations. 

Variables Nitrógeno (N) Media DMS (0.05)
100 150 200
Altura de planta 239.7 a 240.7 a 242.6 a 241.1 7.4
Altura de mazorca 92.3 a 93.8 a 93.3 a 93.2 3.4
Sanidad de la mazorca 7.8 a 8 a 8 a 7.9 0.2
Rendimiento de grano 4.9 ab 5.3 ab 5.8 a 5.4 0.4

DSH= diferencia significativa honesta (Tukey, p≤ 0.05); variables con la misma letra son estadísticamente iguales.

When comparing doses of 100 and 200 kg of N applied to maize genotypes tended to increase 900 kg in grain yield t ha-1. Shrestha, (2014) reported that applying 200 kg N in corn, accelerated days to silking and increased stigma number and yield components (Beres et al., 2012; Ciampitti et al., 2012; Ciampitti and Vyn, 2013); however, Kovacs et al. (2014), applied 145 units of N and reported an increase in grain yield. Other researchers evaluated the effect of 200 units of N in hybrids BH40625 and BH1576, detecting significant changes in grain yield, leaf area index, dry matter production and protein content (Sampath et al., 2013). Tafteh and Sepaskhah (2012) reported that the optimum nitrogen application contributes to corn grain yield, in addition it achieves a better leaf area index (Ding et al., 2005), chlorophyll content (Majnooni et al., 2011), available soil moisture, reflects increased grain production (Liu and Zhang, 2007). Mukhtar et al. (2011) detected significant changes in plant height, thousand grain weight, grain number per ear, grain weight per ear and grain yield when evaluating hybrid YH1898 and YH1921.

Means comparison of phosphorus doses

When comparing the three fertilizations levels with phosphorus, maize genotypes VS-535, A-7573 and V537C, no significant differences were detected for ADP and RGr, while in ADMz and SDMz, there were significant changes; the results suggest that the most desirable values, are those recorded with the application dose of 90 kg ha-1 (Table 6). When applying the dose of 60 units of P, maize genotypes expressed statistically the same grain yield t ha-1. The results suggest that low dose (60P) is suitable for the three maize types, because when the dose increased to 120 units of P per ha, ADMz, SDMz and RGr values tended to decrease. From the economic point of view it is not convenient to increase phosphorus dose, given that with 60 units of P, similar values to those registered with the application of 120 units of P measured in the four characters evaluated (Table 6) were observed.

Table 6 Means comparison of phosphorus (P) effect in phenotypic characteristics and grain yield of three maize genotypes evaluated in Iguala and Teloloapan. 

Variables Fósforo (P)
60 90 120 Media DMS (0.05)
Altura de planta 239.7 a 242.9 a 240.5 a 241.1 7.4
Altura de mazorca 92.8 ab 95.2 a 91.5 ab 93.2 3.4
Sanidad de la mazorca 8 ab 8.1 a 7.8 ab 7.9 0.2
Rendimiento de grano 5.4 a 5.5 a 5.2 a 5.4 0.4

DSH= diferencia significativa honesta (Tukey, p≤ 0.05). Variables con la misma letra son estadísticamente iguales.

According to Onansaya et al., (2009) reported that applying 40 units of P, increased plant height, ear length, grain number per ear, protein content (Singh and Dukey, 1991), grain yield (Wasonga et al., 2008 ), whereas in our study only trends were observed, probably it is important to increase the number of environments, genotypes and treatments.


Phenotypic characteristics and grain yield were higher in Apaxtla and lower in Iguala, Guerrero. Combinations of nitrogen plus phosphorus, did not affect plan and ear height. N + P applied in genotypes VS-535, A-7573 and V-537C, demanded different combination of fertilizer (200N + 120P, 150N + 90P and 150 N + 60P); to express greater cob health. V-537C tended to express the best phenotypic characteristics and grain yield than VS-535 and hybrid A-7573. The application of 100 units of nitrogen recorded statistically similar values in phenotypic characteristics and for grain yield it requires 200 units of N. With the application 90 units of phosphorus per ha, genotypes VS-535, A-7573 and V537C, expressing superior values in plant and ear height, health and grain yield.

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Received: July 2016; Accepted: October 2016

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