Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Henry, William

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Plant and Soil Sciences (Agronomy)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Early planting is one technique to avoid or reduce heat and drought problems that negatively affecting grain crop production. If producers adopt early planting, cold temperatures may negatively affect corn yield. It is important to select hybrids that are suited for planting earlier in the southern United States. Experiments were conducted by imposing low temperatures during seed germination. Twenty commercially available corn hybrids were evaluated for seed germination and root elongation. The first objective was: 1) To determine if some hybrids germinate better at cooler temperatures than others; and 2) Determine variation in root elongation at cold temperatures among commercially available hybrids. Corn hybrids varied significantly for seed germination and root traits under cold temperatures. Some hybrids have significantly surpassed others in seed germination traits, and they germinated earlier as well having longer radicle length. Also, there were significant differences across temperatures for all traits measured. A second objective was: 1) To quantify the effects of cold temperature on seed germination rate; 2) To evaluate the effects of different cold temperatures on seed germination behavior of corn hybrids under laboratory conditions to determine how fast they germinated; and 3) To classify hybrids for response to cold temperature using cumulative seed germination. The results showed that standard germination performance occurred at 10ºC for all hybrids, but these hybrids performed well under other cold treatments (7.2°C and 8.6° C). There were no big differences between early hybrids 93 to 105 RM (Relative Maturity) and full season 115 to 120 RM in germination % and rate in both experiments, so that means that it pretty much depends on the hybrid. Therefore, the temperature had a major influence on seed germination parameters. These findings are useful for hybrid selection with respect to cool soil temperature conditions during early planting.



Root development||Root elongation||Cold temperature treatment||Seed germination||Hybrids||Corn||Drought avoidance||Heat avoidance||Maximum germination||Germination rate||Velocity index.