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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2020, Vol. 19 Issue (9): 2216-2228    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(20)63158-6
Special Issue: 玉米遗传育种合辑Maize Genetics · Breeding · Germplasm Resources 玉米耕作栽培合辑Maize Physiology · Biochemistry · Cultivation · Tillage
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Effects of post-silking water deficit on the leaf photosynthesis and senescence of waxy maize
YE Yu-xiu1, 2*, WEN Zhang-rong1*, YANG Huan1, LU Wei-ping1, LU Da-lei1  
1 Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Physiology/Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Crop Cultivation and Physiology/Agricultural College, Yangzhou University/Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for Modern Production Technology of Grain Crops, Yangzhou 225009, P.R.China
2 Huaihai Institute of Technology, Huai’an 222005, P.R.China
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Waxy maize is widely cultivated under rainfed conditions and frequently suffers water shortage during the late growth stage.  In this study, a pot trial was conducted to examine the effects of post-silking drought on leaf photosynthesis and senescence and its influence on grain yield.  Two waxy maize hybrids, Suyunuo 5 (SYN5) and Yunuo 7 (YN7), were grown under the control and drought (soil moisture content was 70–80% and 50–60%, respectively) conditions after silking in 2016 and 2017.  The decrease in yield was 11.1 and 15.4% for YN7 and SYN5, respectively, owing to the decreased grain weight and number.  Post-silking dry matter accumulation was reduced by 27.2% in YN7 and 26.3% in SYN5.  The contribution rate of pre-silking photoassimilates transferred to grain yield was increased by 15.6% in YN7 and 10.2% in SYN5, respectively.  Post-silking drought increased the malondialdehyde content, but decreased the contents of water, soluble protein, chlorophyll, and carotenoid in the leaves.  The weakened activities of enzymes involved in photosynthesis (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase) and antioxidant system (catalase, superoxide dismutase and peroxidase) reduced the photosynthetic rate (Pn) and accelerated leaf senescence.  The correlation results indicated that reduced Pn and catalase activity and increased malondialdehyde content under drought conditions induced the decrease of post-silking photoassimilates deposition, ultimately resulted in the grain yield loss.
Keywords:  water deficit        waxy maize        photosynthesis        antioxidant enzyme        senescence        dry matter accumulation  
Received: 06 June 2019   Accepted: 04 August 2020
Fund: This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0300109 and 2018YFD0200703), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31771709), the Jiangsu Agricultural Industry Technology System of China (JATS[2019]458), the Jiangsu Agriculture Science and Technology Innovation Fund, China (CX[19]3056), and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, China.
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence LU Da-lei, Tel: +86-514-87979377, Fax: +86-514-87996817, E-mail:    
About author:  YE Yu-xiu, Tel: +86-514-87979377, Fax: +86-514-87996817, E-mail:; * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

YE Yu-xiu, WEN Zhang-rong, YANG Huan, LU Wei-ping, LU Da-lei. 2020. Effects of post-silking water deficit on the leaf photosynthesis and senescence of waxy maize. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 19(9): 2216-2228.

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