Yield and yield components of hybrid corn (Zea mays L.) as affected by mycorrhizal symbiosis and zinc sulfate under drought stress
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AbstractWith respect to the significance of improving hybrid corn performance under stress, this experiment was conducted at the Islamic Azad University, Arak Branch, Iran. A complete randomized block design with three levels of irrigations (at 100%, 75% and 50% crop water requirement), two levels of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (Glumus intraradisis) (including control), and three levels of zinc (Zn) sulfate (0, 25 and 45 kg ha−1), was performed. Results of the 2-year experiments indicated that irrigation treatment significantly affected corn yield and its components at P = 1%. AM fungi and increasing Zn levels also resulted in similar effects on corn growth and production. Although AM fungi did not significantly affect corn growth at the non-stressed irrigation treatment, at moderate drought stress AM fungi significantly enhanced corn quality and yield relative to the control treatment. The combined effects of AM fungi and Zn sulfate at 45 kg ha−1 application significantly affected corn growth and production. In addition, the tripartite treatments significantly enhanced corn yield at P = 1%. Effects of Zn and AM fungi on plant growth under drought stress is affected by the stress level.