• KOLAWOLE A. O. Department of Crop Production and Soil Science,
  • I. A. RAJI Department of Crop Production and Soil Science
  • S. A. OYEKALE Department of Crop Production and Soil Science


Agronomic traits, Grain yield, Low-N tolerance, N-environments, Rank summation index, Superior variety.


Millions of resource-limited farmers cultivate maize under low-soil nitrogen (N), which is a major constraint to maize production in Nigeria. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to: (i) assess the existence of genetic variation among some maize varieties for grain yield and other agronomic traits under varying N conditions, (ii) identify maize varieties with favourable alleles for tolerance to low-soil N and superior performance for grain yield across N environments. Eight maize varieties were evaluated under four (0, 30, 90 and 150 kg N ha-1) N environments at the Teaching and Research Farm of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, in 2021. The experiment was laid down in a randomized complete block design with six replicates. Data obtained were subjected to analysis of variance for each N level. Rank summation index was used to select superior variety. Significant (P < 0.01) mean squares were observed for grain yield and other agronomic traits of the maize varieties, across the (N) environments. Mean grain yields under low and optimal N environments were 2.8 t ha-1 and 3.8 t ha-1, respectively. Outstanding varieties (Pioneer KMK (30Y87); Kapam 10 and Sammaz 52) were identified by rank summation index and low-N tolerant base index, indicating that the varieties possess favourable alleles for tolerance to soil-nitrogen stress.




Author Biographies

KOLAWOLE A. O. , Department of Crop Production and Soil Science,

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria

I. A. RAJI, Department of Crop Production and Soil Science

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria

S. A. OYEKALE, Department of Crop Production and Soil Science

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria



Adebayo, M.A. 2014. Performance of testcross maize (Zea mays L.) Hybrids for grain yield and other agronomic traits under simulated drought stress conditions. Science Focus 19: 72-80.

Adebayo, M.A., Kolawole, A.O., Raji, I., Ajayi, J. 2017. Agronomic evaluation of testcrosses of drought tolerant maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines using different selection index methods. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 63:1292-1300.

Adediran, J.A., Banjoko, V.A. 1995. Response of maize to nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizers in the savanna zones of Nigeria. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 26:593-606.

Adu, G.B., Alidu, H., Amegbor, I.K., Abdulai, M.S., Nutsugah, S.K., Obeng-Antwi, K., Kanton, R.A.L., Buah, S.S., Kombiok, M.J., Abudulai, M., Etwire, P.M. 2018. Performance of maize populations under different nitrogen rates in northern Ghana. Annals of Agricultural Sciences 63:145-152.

Amegbor, I.K., Badu-Apraku, B., Annor, B., 2017. Combining ability and heterotic patterns of extra-early maturing white maize inbreds with genes from Zea diploperennis under multiple environments. Euphytica 213:1-16.

Anbessa, Y., Juskiw, P., Good, A., Nyachiro, J., Helm, J. 2010. Selection efficiency across environments in improvement of barley yield for moderately low nitrogen environments. Crop Science 50:451-457.

Badu-Apraku, B., Akinwale, R.O., Ajala, S.O., Menkir, A., Fakorede, M.A.B., Oyekunle, M. 2011b. Relationships among the traits of tropical early maize cultivar in contrasting environments. Agronomy Journal 103:717-729.

Badu-Apraku, B., Fakorede, M.A.B., Oyekunle, M., Akinwale, R.O. 2011a. Selection of extra-early maize inbreds under low-N and drought at flowering and grain-filling for hybrid production. Maydica 56:1721-35.

Badu-Apraku, B., Fakorede, M.A.B., Talabi, A.O., Oyekunle, M., Akaogu, I.C., Akinwale, R.O., Annor, B., Melaku, G., Fasanmade, Y., Aderounmu, M. 2016. Gene action and heterotic groups of early white quality protein maize inbreds under multiple stress environments. Crop Science 56:183-199.

Derera, J., Tongoona, P., Vivek, B. S., Laing, M. D. 2008. Gene action controlling grain yield and secondary traits in southern African maize hybrids under drought and non-drought environments. Euphytica 162:411-422.

Duncan, D. B. 1955. Multiple range and multiple f-test. Biometrics 11:1-42.

Edmeades, G.O., Bolanos, J., Elings, A., Ribaut, J.M., Bazinger, M., Westgate, M.E. 2000. The role and regulation of the anthesis-silking-interval in maize. In: Physiology and modeling kernel set in maize. Westgate, M.E. and Boote, K.J. (Eds.), CSSA Special Publication 29:43-73. CSSA, Madison, WI.

FAOSTAT 2016. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Database. Accessed March 18, 2022, from

Ige, S. A., Bello, O., Abolusoro, S., Aremu, C. 2021. Comparative response of some tropical maize hybrid and their parental varieties to low and high nitrogen regime. Heliyon 7: e07909.

Izge, A.U., Kadams, A.M., Sajo, A.A. 2007. Agronomic performance of selected cultivars of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.R.Br.) and their hybrids in North-Eastern Nigeria. Journal of Agronomy 6:344-349.

Kamara, A.Y., Menkir, A., Ajala, S.O., Kureh, I. 2005. Performance of diverse maize genotypes under nitrogen deficiency in the northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria. Experimental Agriculture 41:199-212.

Kamara, A.Y., Menkir, A., Omogui, L.O., Kureh, I. 2005. Potential of drought tolerant maize varieties in nitrogen deficient soils of the Guinea Savanna. In: Demand-driven technologies for sustainable maize production in West and Central Africa. Badu Apraku, B., Fakorede, M.A.B., Lum, A.F., Menkir, A. Ouedraogo, M. (Eds.), scientific papers presented at the regional workshop of the West and Central Africa Collaborative Maize Research Network (WECAMAN) IITA-Ibadan. pp. 180-193.

Kolawole, A.O., Menkir, A., Blay, E., Ofori, K., Kling, J.G. 2018. Genetic advance in grain yield and other traits in two tropical maize composites developed via reciprocal recurrent selection. Crop Science 58:2360-2369.

Kolawole, A.O., Olayinka, A.F. 2022. Phenotypic performance of new pro-vitamin A maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids using three selection indices. Agriculture (Poľnohospodárstvo) 68:1-12.

Kolawole, A.O., Raji, I.A., Oyekale, S.A. 2021. The performance of new early maturing pro-vitamin a maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids in the derived savanna agro-ecology of Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Sciences (Belgrade) 66:231-245.

Matusso, J., Materusse, M. 2016. Growth and yield response of maize (Zea mays L.) to different nitrogen levels in acid soils. Academic Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Research 4:35-44.

Mi, G.H., Chen, F.J., Zhang, F.S. 2012. Physiological basis and genetic improvement of crop nutrient efficiency (in Chinese). Beijing: China Agricultural University Press. pp. 1-73.

Mulumba, N.N., Mock, J.J. 1978. Improvement of yield potential of the ETO blanco maize (Zea mays L.) population by breeding for plant traits [Mexico]. Egyptian Journal of Genetics and Cytology 7: 40-51.

Obeng-Bio, E., Badu-Apraku, B., Ifie, B.E., Danquah, A., Blay, E.T., Dadzie, M.A., Noudifoulè, G.T., Talabi, A.O. 2020. Genetic diversity among early pro-vitamin A quality protein maize inbred lines and the performance of derived hybrids under contrasting nitrogen environments. BMC genetics 21:1-13.

Oikeh, S.O., Horst, W.J. 2001. Agro-physiological responses of tropical maize cultivars to nitrogen fertilization in the moist savanna of West Africa. In: Plant-nutrition, food security and sustainability of agro-ecosystems. Horst, W.J., Kamh, M., Jibrin, J.M. and Chude, V.O. (Eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, The Netherlands. pp 804-805.

Raheem, D., Dayoub, M., Birech, R., Nakiyemba, A. 2021. The contribution of cereal grains to food security and sustainability in Africa: potential application of UAV in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Namibia. Urban Science 5: 8.

SAS Institute, 2011. SAS system for windows. Release 9.4. SAS Institute Inc. Cary, North Carolina, USA.

Settinni, J.R., Maranville, J.W. 1998. Carbon dioxide assimilation efficiency of maize leaves under nitrogen stress at different stages of plant development. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis 29: 777-792.

Talabi, A.O., Badu-Apraku, B., Fakorede, M.A.B. 2017. Genetic variances and relationship among traits of an early maturing maize population under drought-stress and low nitrogen environments. Crop Science 57:1-12.

Tandzi, N.L., Mutengwa, C.S. 2019. Estimation of maize (Zea mays L.) yield per harvest area: appropriate methods. Agronomy 10: 29.

Tigchelaar, M., Battisti, D.S., Naylor, R.L., Ray, D.K. 2018. Future warming increases probability of globally synchronized maize production shocks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115:6644-6649.

Tofa, A.I., Kamara, A.Y., Babaji, B.A., Akinseye, F.M., Bebeley, J.F. 2021. Assessing the use of a drought-tolerant variety as adaptation strategy for maize production under climate change in the savannas of Nigeria. Scientific Reports 11:1-16.

Weber, V.S., Melchinger, A.E., Magorokosho, M., Makumbi, D., Bänziger, M., Atlin, G.N. 2012. Efficiency of managed-stress screening of elite maize hybrids under drought and low nitrogen for yield under rain-fed conditions in Southern Africa. Crop Science 52:1011-1020.






Original Manuscript