Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Bheemanahalli Rangappa, Raju

Committee Member

Reddy, K. Raja

Committee Member

Henry, W. Brien

Committee Member

Samiappan, Sathishkumar

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Suboptimal soil moisture during the growing season often limits growth and yield potential of corn. This study aimed to assess the impact of varying soil moisture regimes on corn growth at different growth phases involving vegetative, flowering, and grain-filling stages. Exposure to moisture stress (80% of the control) during the vegetative stage resulted in a 65% reduction in stomatal conductance and increased the canopy temperature by 5 oC, which led to a substantial decrease in total dry matter (56%). Moisture stress-induced reductions in silk length (19%) and fresh weight (34%), negatively affected kernel number (53%), and weight (54%). Unlike the flowering stage, extreme stress during grain-filling had a greater impact on kernel weight (19%) than the number (7%). During flowering, stress reduced kernel starch content with an increase in protein content. Our findings infer that improving the resilience of the corn flowering stage to soil moisture stress may help reduce the yield gap between irrigated and rainfed.