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  • 1 Research Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops M. Gorkog 30 21000 Novi Sad Serbia
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One of the major challenges for maize breeders is to develop hybrids that have an advantage in water-limited environments. A considerable number of grain production studies in maize include correlations between agronomic and physiological characteristics and grain yield. The main objective of this study was to identify traits that may relate to stay-green and grain yield in two maize synthetic populations. S 1 progenies were evaluated in an incomplete block design in four environments. Correlations and path coefficient analysis showed that the leaf water content had the greatest impact on stay-green. At the same time, stalk water content had a less direct effect on stay-green than it could be expected from its correlations. The highest positive direct effect on grain yield was determined for stay-green in both populations (P 2.1 =0.717** and P 2.1 =0.649**, respectively). Breeding for stay-green seems to be feasible in many applied breeding programs, especially due to its simplicity to score on a large number of entries.

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