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  • 1 University of Agriculture Department of Agronomy Faisalabad Pakistan
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A pot experiment was carried out in completely randomized design (CRD) having three replications to screen out six maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids viz; FH-810, 32-F-10, FH-782, 32-B-33, YH-1898, Monsanto-6525, R-2315 and R-3304 for drought tolerance. The study was carried out with objective to screen hybrids, when exposed to drought on the early phase of their vegetative growth. The moisture treatments comprised of 100% field capacity (FC), 75% FC and 50% FC. The results exhibited that all these hybrids varied substantially in their stability against drought tolerance. However, the results pertaining to interaction of maize hybrids with three moisture levels of 100% FC, 75% FC and 50% FC revealed that 32-F-10 performed comparatively better in contrast to other maize hybrids in plant height (79.74 cm, 47.02 cm and 41.65 cm), leaf area per plant (865.10 cm2, 405.7 cm2 and 178.60 cm2), relative water contents (81.23%, 69.79% and 65.98%), at 100%, 75% and 50% FC, respectively, while YH-1898 hybrid produced lowest values of these attributes in almost all water levels. However, a better stomatal conductance (gs), photosynthetic rate (A) and transpiration rate (E) were exhibited by 32-F-10 while YH-1898 revealed least gas-exchange values among all hybrids. The experimental results revealed that under drought conditions 32-F-10 performed best than all other maize hybrids and could be used for further investigation to screen out other drought tolerant-maize hybrids for maximum production.

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