Variable photosynthetic sensitivity of maize (Zea mays L.) to sunlight and temperature during drought development process

https://doi.org/10.17221/664/2017-PSECitation:Ji Y., Zhou G., Ma X., Wang Q., Liu T. (2017): Variable photosynthetic sensitivity of maize (Zea mays L.) to sunlight and temperature during drought development process. Plant Soil Environ., 63: 505-511.
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The complex interaction process of the abiotic factors (sunlight, air temperature and soil water) in regulating maize (Zea mays L.) photosynthesis has not been fully understood. Our field experiment explored the changed sensitivity (or role) of the abiotic factors in regulating maize photosynthesis under a drought development process. The experiment established a scenario with a long-term drought and an instantaneous cloud cover. The results revealed that long-term drought stress causes the sensitivity (or role) of sunlight and temperature exchanged in regulating maize photosynthesis. The maize photosynthesis was more sensitive to instantaneous sunlight rather than temperature in the absence of drought. However, a diminishing photosynthetic sensitivity to sunlight but an increasing photosynthetic sensitivity to temperature was observed with drought development process. The variable photosynthetic sensitivity indicated that the roles of temperature and sunlight in regulating maize photosynthesis were exchanged, so it is expected that higher photosynthetic rate could be achieved by adjusting temperature rather than sunlight after severe drought. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to provide more evidence and mechanism explanations.

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