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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2023, Vol. 22 Issue (3): 691-700    DOI: 10.1016/j.jia.2022.08.006
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Changes in grain-filling characteristics of single-cross maize hybrids released in China from 1964 to 2014

GAO Xing*, LI Yong-xiang*, YANG Ming-tao, LI Chun-hui, SONG Yan-chun, WANG Tian-yu, LI Yu#, SHI Yun-su#

Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P.R.China

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灌浆是籽粒形成的重要生理过程,直接决定最终产量。本研究以19642014年间在中国育成的50个代表性玉米单交种为试验材料,在多环境下对玉米籽粒灌浆特性演变规律进行研究。结果表明,籽粒灌浆快增期Effective grain filling phase)的灌浆速率(43.40%)与灌浆持续时间(54.46%)对百粒重的形成具有重要作用。同时发现,随着不同时期育成单交种百粒重的显著增加,实际灌浆期(Actual grain filling period durationAFPD)表现持续上升,每10年有效积温平均增加23.41 ℃day。但对生理成熟期Days from sowing to physiological maturity,DPM)而言,每10年有效积温仅平均增加19.76°C d,播种至吐丝的天数Days from sowing to silking, DTS占整个生理成熟期的比例明显降低,由上世纪60年代的53.24%降至本世纪初的49.78%2010s)。另外,还发现不同年代间中国育成单交种的各阶段籽粒灌浆速率均不存在显著差异,但籽粒灌浆相关性状的稳定性明显改善。本土育种家选育单交种与国外种子企业选育单交种的灌浆特性进行比较发现外来品种的籽粒快增期灌浆持续时间更长、灌浆相关性状的稳定性更高。根据本研究的结果,认为缩短播种至吐丝的天数,延长籽粒灌浆持续时间,提高籽粒灌浆速率,并继续提升籽粒灌浆相关性状的稳定性将有利于未来玉米品种产量的进一步提高。

Abstract  Grain filling is the physiological process for determining the obtainment of yield in cereal crops.  The grain-filling characteristics of 50 maize brand hybrids released from 1964 to 2014 in China were assayed across multiple environments.  We found that the grain-filling duration (54.46%) and rate (43.40%) at the effective grain-filling phase greatly contributed to the final performance parameter of 100-kernel weight (HKW).  Meanwhile, along with the significant increase in HKW, the accumulated growing degree days (GDDs) for the actual grain-filling period duration (AFPD) among the selected brand hybrids released from the 1960s to the 2010s in China had a decadal increase of 23.41°C d.  However, there was a decadal increase of only 19.76°C d for GDDs of the days from sowing to physiological maturity (DPM), which was also demonstrated by a continuous decrease in the ratio between the days from sowing to silking (DS) and DPM (i.e., from 53.24% in the 1960s to 49.78% in the 2010s).  In contrast, there were no significant changes in grain-filling rate along with the release years of the selected hybrids.  Moreover, the stability of grain-filling characteristics across environments also significantly increased along with the hybrid release years.  We also found that the exotic hybrids showed a longer grain-filling duration at the effective grain-filling phase and more stability of the grain-filling characteristics than those of the Chinese local hybrids.  According to the results of this study, it is expected that the relatively longer grain-filling duration, shorter DS, higher grain-filling rate, and steady grain-filling characteristics would contribute to the yield improvement of maize hybrids in the future.  
Keywords:  maize (Zea mays L.)       grain filling rate       grain filling duration       stability  
Received: 26 November 2021   Accepted: 16 February 2022
Fund: This work was partly supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFD0100303 and 2016YFD0100103), the Fundamental Research Funds for Central Non-Profit of Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Y2020YJ09 and CAAS-ZDRW202109), and the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program, China (ASTIP).  

About author:  #Correspondence LI Yu, E-mail:; SHI Yun-su, E-mail: * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

GAO Xing, LI Yong-xiang, YANG Ming-tao, LI Chun-hui, SONG Yan-chun, WANG Tian-yu, LI Yu, SHI Yun-su. 2023. Changes in grain-filling characteristics of single-cross maize hybrids released in China from 1964 to 2014. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 22(3): 691-700.

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