Scientia Agricultura Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (15): 2880-2894.doi: 10.3864/j.issn.0578-1752.2023.15.004


Effects of Tassel Sizes on Post-Flowering Dry Matter Accumulation and Yield of Different Maize Varieties Under High Temperature Stress During Pollination

MU XinYuan1,2(), LÜ ShanShan1, LU LiangTao1, LIU TianXue1(), LI ShuYan3, XUE ChangYing3, WANG HongWei4, ZHAO Xia2, XIA LaiKun2(), TANG BaoJun2   

  1. 1 College of Agronomy, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450046
    2 Cereal Institute, Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences/ Henan International Joint Laboratory on Maize Precision Production, Zhengzhou 450002
    3 China Meteorological Administration/Henan Key Laboratory of Agrometeorological Support and Applied Technique, Zhengzhou 450003
    4 Nanyang Wancheng District Letters and Calls Bureau, Nanyang 473000, Henan
  • Received:2022-12-02 Accepted:2023-03-02 Online:2023-08-01 Published:2023-08-05


【Objective】 High temperature stress is one of the most critical meteorological disaster factors that restrict the high and stable yield of maize. This study explored the effect of tassel sizes on yield of different maize varieties under high temperature stress during pollination, so as to provide the theoretical basis and reference for stress-resistant cultivation and high temperature resistance breeding of maize. 【Method】 This study was conducted by plot experiment in a greenhouse with two maize varieties as the experimental materials, Xundan 20 (XD20) and Nonghua 101 (NH101), from 2020 to 2021. The effect of tassel sizes on dry matter accumulation, distribution and yield of maize under high temperature stress during pollination was investigated by setting the tassel branch removal treatment at tasseling stage. 【Result】 The results of two years showed that high temperature stress during pollination had little effect on tassel length, branch number, spikelet number and flowering dynamics of male and female. However, high temperature stress resulted in the decrease of dry matter accumulation capacity and distribution ratio to ear, which affected the growth and development of ear, resulting in the significant decrease of cob length and diameter, the significant decrease of grain number per ear, the decrease of proportion of matter accumulation to grain after anthesis, and the significant decrease of yield. Under high temperature stress, the decrease of ear length of NH101 was less than that of XD20, but the decrease of grain number per row, grain number per ear and the proportion of matter accumulation to grain after anthesis was higher than that of XD20, resulting in the decrease of yield of NH101 more than that of XD20, and the yield of XD20 and NH101 decreased by 12.32% and 25.00% respectively. XD20 is more resistant to heat than NH101. The tassel branch removal treatment significantly reduced the number of tassel branch and spikelet of XD20 and NH101 by 58.57%, 42.91% and 57.30%, 41.34%, respectively, but had little effect on the flowering dynamics of male and female. Under the two temperature conditions, the tassel branch removal treatment promoted the growth of ear, increased the grain number per ear, increased the proportion of matter accumulation to grain after anthesis, and thus increased the yield. Among them, the yield increase of XD20 under high temperature conditions was the largest. Compared with normal tassel branch treatment, tassel branch removal treatment increased the yield of XD20 and NH101 by 2.76% and 4.37% under normal temperature conditions, while increased by 12.47% and 5.75% under high temperature conditions, respectively. 【Conclusion】 High temperature stress during pollination has little effect on the growth and development of tassel, but it caused irreversible damage to the growth and development of ear, reduced the number of grains per ear, limited the distribution of photosynthate to grains after anthesis, and significantly reduced the yield. Under high temperature conditions, properly reducing the number of branches in tassel can promote the growth and development of ear, increase the number of grains per ear, promote the accumulation of matter to grains after anthesis, and increase the yield. In addition, the yield increase of the large tassel-type variety XD20 was higher than that of the small tassel-type variety NH101.

Key words: maize, high temperature during pollination, tassel size, dry matter mass, grain yield

Fig. 1

Diagrammatic sketch of the normal tassel branch (NB) and removal tassel branch (RB) treatments"

Fig. 2

Temperature changes in one day and during the 10 days experiment period at maize pollination stage of the normal temperature (NT) and high temperature (HT) treatments"

Fig. 3

Effects of high temperature stress during pollination and removal tassel branch treatment on tassel-related traits of maize Mean±Standard error. Different lowercase letters in the same variety represent significant differences among different treatments at P<0.05 probability level. The same as below"

Fig. 4

Effects of high temperature stress during pollination and removal tassel branch treatment on flowering dynamics of maize Ta: Tasseling; Si: Silking; Sh: Shedding; Es: End of shedding; ASI: Anthesis-silking interval; PSD: Pollen shedding duration"

Fig. 5

Effects of high temperature stress during pollination and removal tassel branch treatment on ear-related traits of maize"

Table 1

Effects of high temperature stress during pollination and removal tassel branch treatment on dry matter distribution at the end of high temperature treatment"

茎叶Stem leaf 雌穗Ear 总干重
Total dry matter (g/plant)
Dry matter (g/plant)
Proportion (%)
Dry matter (g/plant)
Proportion (%)
2020 XD20 NT+NB 91.23±3.35a 74.76 30.80±4.35a 25.24 122.03±6.80a
NT+RB 93.62±3.43a 74.31 32.37±2.73a 25.69 125.99±6.03a
HT+NB 82.43±1.08a 79.73 20.95±2.79b 20.27 103.38±2.51b
HT+RB 90.57±7.21a 79.57 23.26±2.48b 20.43 113.83±9.14ab
NH101 NT+NB 87.51±3.72a 74.38 30.15±4.69a 25.62 117.66±1.04a
NT+RB 87.43±5.60a 74.08 30.59±2.09a 25.92 118.02±6.24a
HT+NB 87.14±6.27a 79.49 22.48±2.53b 20.51 109.62±3.75a
HT+RB 89.66±5.07a 79.32 23.37±1.32b 20.68 113.03±6.33a
变异来源 Source of variation
品种Variety (V) NS NS NS
温度Temperature (T) NS ** **
雄穗Tassel (B) NS NS NS
2021 XD20 NT+NB 81.36±5.10a 74.46 27.91±4.06a 25.54 109.27±8.92a
NT+RB 80.52±2.37a 73.85 28.51±3.14a 26.15 109.03±5.40a
HT+NB 72.17±2.78b 78.57 19.68±2.41b 21.43 91.85±4.80b
HT+RB 73.14±2.49b 78.61 19.90±0.97b 21.39 93.04±3.14b
NH101 NT+NB 60.69±3.46a 74.88 20.36±1.22a 25.12 81.05±2.57a
NT+RB 60.84±6.85a 74.87 20.42±1.15a 25.13 81.26±7.99a
HT+NB 61.49±3.24a 77.37 17.99±2.18a 22.63 79.48±3.99a
HT+RB 61.37±1.91a 76.93 18.40±1.48a 23.07 79.77±3.26a
变异来源 Source of variation
品种Variety (V) ** ** **
温度Temperature (T) ** ** **
雄穗Tassel (B) NS NS NS
V×T * NS *

Table 2

Effects of high temperature stress during pollination and removal tassel branch treatment on dry matter distribution at the maturity stage"

茎叶Stem leaf 穗轴Cob 籽粒Grain 总干重
Total dry matter (g/plant)
Dry matter (g/plant)
Proportion (%)
Dry matter (g/plant)
Proportion (%)
Dry matter (g/plant)
Proportion (%)
2020 XD20 NT+NB 74.28±7.44a 37.03 19.19±0.59ab 9.56 107.14±8.73ab 53.41 200.61±13.69ab
NT+RB 72.40±4.33a 35.38 21.09±2.32a 10.30 111.17±3.84a 54.32 204.65±4.42a
HT+NB 67.70±6.51a 41.74 15.77±0.67b 9.72 78.72±13.06b 48.53 162.19±18.89b
HT+RB 79.90±6.87a 39.55 19.08±2.26ab 9.44 103.05±8.30ab 51.01 202.02±17.33ab
NH101 NT+NB 95.97±4.64a 40.76 29.53±4.27ab 12.54 109.94±12.90ab 46.69 235.44±20.69ab
NT+RB 102.88±5.09a 38.87 36.04±1.35a 13.62 125.78±7.11a 47.52 264.71±2.86a
HT+NB 98.00±7.22a 46.69 28.90±4.34b 13.77 82.98±8.05b 39.54 209.88±17.06b
HT+RB 101.30±6.96a 44.85 33.70±2.45ab 14.92 90.88±10.14b 40.23 225.89±19.03ab
Source of variation
品种Variety (V) ** ** NS **
温度Temperature (T) NS * ** *
雄穗Tassel (B) NS NS * NS
2021 XD20 NT+NB 78.04±2.18ab 36.79 21.04±0.88a 9.92 113.04±3.87a 53.29 212.13±4.79a
NT+RB 88.37±8.82a 37.45 22.00±2.95a 9.32 125.58±14.30a 53.23 235.95±25.92a
HT+NB 71.22±4.10b 40.04 15.67±0.88b 8.81 90.98±3.20b 51.15 177.87±6.87b
HT+RB 76.13±3.11ab 39.77 16.98±1.90b 8.87 98.32±4.90b 51.36 191.44±8.04b
NH101 NT+NB 82.48±6.85a 38.63 25.60±3.01a 11.99 105.42±8.97a 49.38 213.50±17.81a
NT+RB 81.60±2.11a 38.14 26.85±1.36a 12.55 105.51±6.69a 49.31 213.96±9.33a
HT+NB 80.56±3.31a 45.06 18.94±0.38b 10.59 79.30±2.23b 44.35 178.80±2.71b
HT+RB 82.39±3.54a 44.64 21.59±2.35ab 11.69 80.60±9.47ab 43.67 184.58±14.67ab
Source of variation
品种Variety (V) NS ** NS NS
温度Temperature (T) NS ** ** *
雄穗Tassel (B) NS NS NS NS

Table 3

Effects of high temperature stress during pollination and removal tassel branch treatment on grain yield and its components of maize"

Ear length
Ear diameter (mm)
Ear rows
Grains per row
Grains per ear
100-grain weight (g)
Grain yield (g·m-2)
2020 XD20 NT+NB 13.69±0.35a 45.96±0.97ab 15.00±0.33a 25.78±0.70ab 385.40±9.00a 24.54±1.04a 629.87±28.91a
NT+RB 14.53±0.28a 46.86±0.63a 14.40±0.27a 27.50±1.11a 394.30±12.53a 24.32±0.68a 641.67±33.63a
HT+NB 12.20±0.43b 44.28±0.59b 14.49±0.58a 22.32±0.99b 320.40±8.62c 25.15±1.55a 528.40±22.09b
HT+RB 12.32±0.50b 45.33±0.60ab 14.07±0.55a 24.09±1.68ab 343.45±6.72b 27.21±1.37a 592.53±18.55ab
NH101 NT+NB 14.15±0.33ab 46.40±0.79a 14.80±0.53a 22.57±0.79a 331.60±10.00a 24.55±0.80a 597.80±16.42a
NT+RB 14.93±0.39a 46.50±0.54a 14.80±0.53a 23.25±1.07a 340.50±11.33a 25.30±2.45a 627.40±28.06a
HT+NB 12.65±0.47c 42.32±0.92b 14.40±0.50ab 16.74±1.18b 237.80±12.53b 27.20±0.87a 425.07±16.57c
HT+RB 13.69±0.30bc 43.99±0.90b 13.20±0.33b 21.65±1.02a 253.90±9.79b 27.93±1.49a 469.33±21.94b
Source of variation
品种Variety (V) NS NS NS ** ** NS **
温度Temperature (T) ** ** NS ** ** NS **
雄穗Tassel (B) * NS NS ** * NS *
2021 XD20 NT+NB 14.18±0.26b 48.24±0.56a 14.60±0.26a 32.85±0.70a 427.10±12.54a 22.30±0.42b 636.57±24.15ab
NT+RB 14.87±0.15a 48.63±0.34a 14.60±0.21a 34.60±0.58a 440.05±9.16a 22.48±0.37b 659.83±17.73a
HT+NB 12.20±0.17c 45.20±0.45b 14.00±0.36a 26.40±0.72b 355.63±9.83b 22.61±0.64b 531.26±12.90c
HT+RB 12.56±0.18c 46.27±0.47b 14.00±0.38a 27.70±0.87b 375.27±14.68b 24.27±0.70a 599.24±18.83b
NH101 NT+NB 13.54±0.37a 45.92±0.33ab 14.60±0.36a 23.35±0.77a 344.13±10.87a 26.92±1.08a 595.90±17.24a
NT+RB 14.20±0.20a 45.79±0.43b 14.50±0.35a 24.80±0.48a 359.97±8.72a 25.91±0.61a 618.43±15.81a
HT+NB 12.55±0.24b 47.24±0.55a 14.70±0.33a 20.15±0.60b 277.25±12.46b 26.74±0.88a 482.80±11.40b
HT+RB 14.09±0.33a 44.64±0.57b 13.90±0.31a 20.25±0.55b 277.64±10.71b 26.65±0.74a 488.00±15.69b
Source of variation
品种Variety (V) NS ** NS ** ** ** **
温度Temperature (T) ** ** NS ** ** NS **
雄穗Tassel (B) ** NS NS * NS NS *
V×T ** ** NS ** NS NS NS
V×B ** ** NS NS NS NS NS
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