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Effect of Ozone on Yield of Sweet Corn. Allen S. Heagle, Plant Pathologist, Plant Science Research Division, ARS, USDA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; Denis E. Body(2), and Evelyn K. Pounds(3). (2)(3)Mechanical engineer and biologist, Environmental Protection Agency, National Environmental Research Center, Division of Ecological Research, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711. Phytopathology 62:683-687. Accepted for publication 25 January 1972. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-62-683.

Sweet corn, Zea mays L. ‘Golden Midget’ and ‘White Midget’, were exposed to 0, 5, or 10 pphm ozone for 6 hr/day, from emergence to harvest, in field exposure chambers. Golden Midget was more sensitive to ozone than White Midget as indicated by the amount of visible injury and by reduction in growth and yield. Fresh weight of ears, number of kernels, and dry weight of kernels on plants receiving 10 pphm ozone were significantly reduced (5% level) with respect to the controls in Golden Midget but not in White Midget. Since the ozone levels used in this experiment were lower than those commonly found in the air surrounding many urban areas, the results suggest that measurable yield losses in corn due to air pollution may be greater than was previously recognized.

Additional keywords: air pollution, field exposures.