Agronomic Aspects, Efficiency of Photosystem and Corn Stunting Disease of Popcorn (Zea mays Var. Everta Sturt.) Cultivars in Brazil
From healthy food to potential culture, the popcorn crop search technologies that allow your expansion, however, the popcorn genotypes need still to be more explored, they are not yet enough to meet the production market needs. Therefore, new agricultural characteristics, technological adjustments of process among farmers, and specific agronomic research for popcorn cultivars will be fundamentals for Brazil to achieve self-sufficiency in the national popcorn business. The objective of this work was to identify the best popcorn maize cultivar to be grow in the state of Goiás, Brazil, through agronomic, physiological and corn stunting disease evaluations. Two experiments, one in northeastern Goiás, and one in southeastern Goiás, were conducted in randomized block design, with three treatments and four replications. Morpho-agronomical and physiological descriptors and the percentage of plants with symptoms of maize bushy stunt (MBS) and corn stunt spiroplasma (CSS) were evaluated in three popcorn maize cultivars (Americano RS20, UENF-14, and Formosa). The joint ANOVA for the two environments showed significant interaction (p<0.05) for plant height, ear insertion height, percentage of lodged plant, percentage of prolific plants, percentage of plants with tassel, percentage of plants at the R1 (silk) stage, CSS and number of ears per plot. The UENF-14 cultivar presented the same response for ears per plot in both environments, presenting significantly higher (p<0.05) means and mean yield (2.200 kg ha-1), when compared to the other cultivars. The mean percentages of MBS were higher in the northeastern region. The UENF-14 cultivar is recommended for popcorn maize crops in Goiás, Brazil, because it presented phenotypic plasticity for total yield, MBS and CSS, and high efficiency of photosystem II.