Juan Hu a b 1, Xinyu Zhao a 1, Liming Gu c 1, Peng Liu a, Bin Zhao a, Jiwang Zhang a, Baizhao Ren a
Global climate change has significantly increased the frequency and intensity of high temperature and drought stresses. Additionally, the high temperature and drought are often concurred, which make the situation of maize production tougher. However, the influence of the combined stresses of high temperature and drought on summer maize production remains uncertain. The study aimed to investigate the effects of high temperature, drought, and their combined stress at different growth stages on photosynthetic and senescence characteristics of summer maize. Denghai 605 (DH605) was used as the experimental material. High temperature (T), drought (D), and their combined stress (T-D) for 6 days were set at the 3rd leaf stage, 12th leaf stage, and tasseling stage, respectively. The natural temperature and normal water management were used as the control (CK). The results showed that high temperature, drought, and their combined stress at different growth stages decreased the activities of antioxidant enzymes and soluble protein content in leaves, leading to increases in MDA content and damage to cell membranes, which accelerated the senescence of the plant. Accordingly, the activities of RuBPcase and PEPCase were decreased, indicating the abilities of plants to harvest and utilize light energy declined due to high temperature, drought, and combined stresses at different growth stages. As a result, the Pn and thus, the dry matter accumulation rate were decreased by these stresses. In addition, the translocation of dry matter to ears was impeded by stresses, especially by the high temperature at the VT stage. While, high temperatures concurred with drought aggravated the adverse effects on summer maize, compared with single stresses. Significantly, high temperature, drought, and their combined stresses at the VT stage decreased the yield mostly, followed by stresses at the V12 stage, and then by stresses at the V3 stage. Compared with CK, the yield of VT-T-D, V12-T-D, and V3-T-D were decreased by 61.6 %, 13.7 %, and 10.4 %, respectively. As global climate change is unstoppable, the superimposed changes of various meteorological factors make the growth conditions for crop production extreme. Studies to explore the combined effects of two or even more meteorological factors on crop growth are becoming more and more important. This study fulfilled the current knowledge gap of the combined stresses on maize production, however, the underlying mechanisms should be dug out in the future.
Paper Linkage https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2023.108525