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Photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence reaction to different shade stresses of weak light sensitive maize

Jian Wang, Haijiao Huang, Sen Jia, Xuemei Zhong, Fenghai Li, Kuangye Zhang and Zhensheng Shi

A split-plot experimental study was conducted to evaluate the effect of different shade stresses on photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence of maize leaves.The experiment was designed on the south farm of Special Corn Institute, Shenyang Agricultural University, China.Data was collected from the day maize tasseled (Jul. 21) to the beginning of grouting (Aug.12 ) under 18%, 28%, 38%, 60%, and 75% shade stress to determine indexes such as photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence after 15 days of shade treatment. Pairs of near-isogenic lines (NILs) of Shennong 98A (a barren stalk inbred line) and Shennong 98B (an un-barren stalk inbred line) were used as experimental materials to further reveal photosynthetic mechanisms of weak light sensitive maize when exposed to weak light conditions. Thus, a foundation was establishedfor high density-resistant (shade resistant) corn breeding,while identifying weak light sensitive varieties. After shading treatment, chlorophyll a and total chlorophyll content of both varieties increased, chlorophyll b content first increased, followed by a decrease, while the net photosynthetic rate and stomatal conductance showed a gradually decreasing trend. The changing trends of photochemical quenching coefficient(qp) and effective quantum yield of PSII photochemistry (ΦPSII)were similar, ΦPSII and qP increased significantly as shading stress increased from 18% to 38%;however, ΦPSII and qP declined significantly under 60% and 75% shading stresses. The changing trend of NPQ was opposite to ΦPSII and qP. A comparison of both inbred lines showed that photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence characteristics of Shennong 98B were superior to Shennong 98A. This study revealed the relationships between weak light sensitive lines and shade intensities by comparing differences in photosynthesis and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters.

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