Estimating root mass in maize genotypes using the electrical capacitance method

McBride, R. and Candido, M. and Ferguson, J. (2008) Estimating root mass in maize genotypes using the electrical capacitance method. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science , 54 (2). pp. 115-226.

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A two-year field hydroponic study was conducted on root mass of maize (Zea mays L.) using the root electrical capacitance (Croot) method. The primary objective of the study was to test the utility of the Croot method in estimating root mass of maize (on a fresh and dry weight basis), and to determine any influence of maize genotype on this relationship. Secondary objectives were: (i) To determine if the volume of the Turface®-filled hydroponic containers had an effect on root mass-Croot relationships, and (ii) to determine if the number of plants/container affected the Croot measurements of individual plant root systems. Firstly, it was concluded that different maize genotypes appeared to have uniquely different root dry mass vs. Croot relationships. Secondly, the massing of the maize plant roots at the bottom of smaller (20-litre) pails seemed to frequently have a negative effect on the strength of the root mass-Croot relationship. Thirdly, multiple plants could be regarded as a single experimental unit in Croot studies when their root electrical capacitance was measured simultaneously. The predictive capability of the equations developed from this hydroponic study was reasonably good, but research is needed on similar genotype-specific relationships under field soil conditions to determine if they might have some utility in broader agronomic field applications.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: LCR meter, root capacitance, hydroponic, calcined clay, thetaprobe
Author Affiliation: Land Resource Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Subjects: Crop Improvement
Divisions: Maize
Depositing User: Mr. SanatKumar Behera
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2012 08:25
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2012 08:25
Official URL:

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