Photosynthetic mechanism of maize yield under fluctuating light environments in the field

作  者:Wu HY, Qiao MY, Zhang YJ, Kang WJ, Ma QH, Gao HY*, Zhang WF*, Jiang CD*
刊物名称:Plant Physiology
卷:191  期:2  页码:957–973


The photosynthetic mechanism of crop yields in fluctuating light environments in the field remains controversial. To further elucidate this mechanism, we conducted field and simulation experiments using maize (Zea mays) plants. Increased planting density enhanced the light fluctuation frequency and reduced the duration of daily high light, as well as the light-saturated photosynthetic rate, biomass, and yield per plant. Further analysis confirmed a highly significant positive correlation between biomass and yield per plant and the duration of photosynthesis related to daily high light. The simulation experiment indicated that the light-saturated photosynthetic rate of maize leaves decreased gradually and considerably when shortening the daily duration of high light. Under an identical duration of high light exposure, increasing the fluctuation frequency decreased the light-saturated photosynthetic rate slightly. Proteomic data also demonstrated that photosynthesis was mainly affected by the duration of high light and not by the light fluctuation frequency. Consequently, the current study proposes that an appropriate duration of daily high light under fluctuating light environments is the key factor for greatly improving photosynthesis. This is a promising mechanism by which the photosynthetic productivity and yield of maize can be enhanced under complex light environments in the field.