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Acta Agronomica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (7): 1351-1359.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2021.03051


Differences in photosynthetic performance of leaves at post-flowering stage in different cultivation modes of summer maize (Zea mays L.)

LI Jing, WANG Hong-Zhang, LIU Peng*(), ZHANG Ji-Wang, ZHAO Bin, REN Bai-Zhao   

  1. College of Agriculture, Shandong Agricultural University / State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Tai’an 271018, Shandong, China
  • Received:2020-08-29 Accepted:2020-12-01 Online:2021-07-12 Published:2021-01-04
  • Contact: LIU Peng E-mail:liup@sdau.edu.cn
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China(2016YFD0300106);This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China(2018YFD0300603);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31771713);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(3207150188);the Shandong Province Key Agricultural Project for Application Technology Innovation(SDAIT-02-08)


Photosynthesis plays an important role in crop growth and yield formation. Different cultivation patterns can significantly affect the photosynthetic performance of leaves at post-flowering stage in summer maize. In order to explore the effects of different cultivation modes on the photosynthetic performance of summer maize leaves at post-flowering stage, field experiments were carried out with Denghai 605 maize hybrid variety as experimental material from 2018 to 2019 in Tai’an, Shandong, China. With the local farmer management mode (FP) as the control, the super-high-yield cultivation mode (SH) and high-yield and high-efficiency cultivation mode (HH) by comprehensively optimizing the planting density, fertilizer planting and management mode were set in this study. Leaf area index, chlorophyll content, gas exchange parameters, rapid chlorophyll fluorescence induction kinetic curve (OJIP) were evaluated, which indicated significant differences in biomass of different cultivation modes at maturity stage. Compared with FP, the biomass of SH and HH increased by 27.77% and 7.43%, respectively, and the population biomass at post-flowering stage of HH increased significantly as well. Besides, the photosynthetic rate all declined in different cultivation modes, reaching the highest degree of decline on the 30th day at post-flowering stage (R1+30 d). In contrast with FP, the net photosynthetic rate (Pn) of SH and HH increased at post-flowering stage stage (R1) by 21.63% and 12.96%, respectively, and on the 30th day (R1+30 d) at post-flowering stage by 35.37% and 12.37%, respectively, which could maintain a higher level of photosynthetic capacity. In addition, these results revealed that the differences of net photosynthetic rate among the different cultivation modes were caused by non-stomatal factors. The stomatal conductance (Gs) of SH and HH was increased at the silking stage by 18.36%, 16.66%, 26.16%, and 10.74%, respectively, and while on the 30th day at post-flowering stage intercellular carbon dioxide (Ci) declined by 12.85%, 7.34%, 14.08%, and 9.75%, respectively. Compared with FP, Wk and Vj of SH and HH significantly decreased, indicating that SH and HH apparently improved the performances of both electron donor and acceptor sides of electron transport chain in PSII reaction center, the quantum yield of electron transfer (φE0), the electron transfer ability as well as the reaction center activities of PSII and the coordination between PSI and PSII. In conclusion, SH and HH effectively improved the photosystems performance, increased the net photosynthetic rate, and prolonged duration of high photosynthesis rate, resulting in the increase of the population biomass and high yield.

Key words: summer maize, cultivation modes, photosynthetic performance, chlorophyll fluorescence parameters

Table 1

Nutrient content of 0-20 cm soil layer in experimental field before sowing date"

Soil organic matter
(g kg-1)
Available N
(mg kg-1)
Available P
(mg kg-1)
Available K
(mg kg-1)
2018 9.22 70.54 35.75 137.57
2019 9.51 72.54 32.25 135.35

Fig. 1

Average daily temperature, effective photosynthetic radiation, and daily rainfall during corn growth period"

Table 2

Density and fertilizer management"

Planting density
(plant hm-2)
Row spacing (cm)
(kg hm-2)
SH 82,500 80+40 有机肥
Organic fertilizer
7500 100%
N 540 30% PU+10% U 30% U 20% U 10% U
P2O5 180 100%
K2O 360 75% 25%
HH 82,500 60+60 有机肥
Organic fertilizer
7500 100%
N 225 30% PU+10% U 30% U 20% U 10% U
P2O5 150 100%
K2O 300 75% 25%
FP 67,500 60+60 种肥同播, 复合肥 (N-P2O5-K2O=14-16-15) 750 kg hm-2
Compound fertilizer (N-P2O5-K2O=14-16-15) 750 kg hm-2

Fig. 2

Effects of cultivation mode on biomass in summer maize SH: super high yield mode; HH: high-yield and efficient mode; FP: farmer management mode; R1: silking stage; R6: maturity stage. Bars superscripted by different lowercase letters are significantly different between the treatments at P < 0.05."

Fig. 3

Effects of cultivation modes on gas exchange parameters of summer maize leaves at post-flowering stage SH: super high yield mode; HH: high-yield and efficient mode; FP: farmer management mode; R1: silking stage; R1+15: 15 days after silking stage; R1+30: 30 days after silking stage; R1+45: 45 days after silking stage. * and ** indicate significant differences at P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively. Different lowercase letters indicate significant difference at P < 0.05 among the treatments."

Table 3

Differences of specific leaf weight, leaf area index and chlorophyll content at post-flowering stage under different cultivation modes in summer maize"

Specific leaf weight
(mg cm-2)
Leaf area index
Chlorophyll a
(mg dm-2)
Chlorophyll b
(mg dm-2)
Chlorophyll a/b
R1 R1+30 d R1 R1+30 d R1 R1+30 d R1 R1+30 d R1 R1+30 d
2018 SH 4.75 a 4.38 a 6.2 a 5.3 a 5.53 a 5.04 a 2.70 a 2.31 a 2.04 a 2.16 a
HH 4.63 ab 4.34 ab 5.4 b 4.8 b 5.21 b 4.77 b 2.66 a 2.26 ab 1.95 b 2.11 ab
FP 4.53 b 4.11 b 4.8 c 4.5 c 5.06 b 4.59 c 2.63 a 2.24 b 1.92 b 2.05 b
2019 SH 4.69 a 4.39 a 7.1 a 6.6 a 5.42 a 5.01 a 2.71 a 2.35 a 1.99 a 2.13 a
HH 4.55 ab 4.30 a 6.1 b 5.5 b 5.18 b 4.71 b 2.67 a 2.25 ab 1.94 b 2.09 ab
FP 4.38 b 4.16 ab 5.0 c 4.6 c 5.04 c 4.52 c 2.66 a 2.21 b 1.90 b 2.04 b

Fig. 4

Effects of cultivation modes on reaction center performance of photosystem II in summer maize leaves Treatments and abbreviations are the same as those given in Fig. 3. Bars superscripted by different lowercase letters are significantly different between the treatments at P < 0.05."

Fig. 5

Effects of cultivation modes on Wk and Vj in summer maize Treatments and abbreviations are the same as those given in Fig. 3. Bars superscripted by different lowercase letters are significantly different between the treatments at P < 0.05."

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