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Maize (Zea mays L.) is a widely grown crop with a high rate of photosynthetic activity due to its C4 pathway leading to higher yields of grain and a potential for biomass. It is predominantly cross-pollinated crop, a feature that has contributed to its wide morphological variability and geographical adaptability. Abiotic stress such as drought stress negatively affects plant growth and development. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of drought stress on the morphological and biochemical content of seven different maize varieties. Here we have tested 7 different varieties of maize from the Marathwada region of Maharshtra, India. One week old plants have been affected by drought stress. After one week of drought stress, the plants were subjected to various morphometric and biochemical tests. The results showed that water stress treatment significantly affects root length, shoot length and fresh biomass of seven different varieties, i.e. TMMH 806, NMH 1008, DELTA 10V30, INDAM 1122, SRIKAR 3555, DKC 9141, SGA. Drought stress also had a negative impact on chlorophyll and proline content. Result further exhibited that based on drought tolerance index, variety SRIKAR 3555 could be ranked as drought tolerant and NMH 1008 as drought-sensitive, while remaining cultivator ranked as drought intermediates.
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