Photosynthetica

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 262–271 | Cite as

Maize growth and developmental responses to temperature and ultraviolet-B radiation interaction

Article

Abstract

Plant response to the combination of two or more abiotic stresses is different than its response to the same stresses singly. The response of maize (Zea mays L.) photosynthesis, growth, and development processes were examined under sunlit plant growth chambers at three levels of each day/night temperatures (24/16°C, 30/22°C, and 36/28°C) and UV-B radiation levels (0, 5, and 10 kJ m−2 d−1) and their interaction from 4 d after emergence to 43 d. An increase in plant height, leaf area, node number, and dry mass was observed as temperature increased. However, UV-B radiation negatively affected these processes by reducing the rates of stem elongation, leaf area expansion, and biomass accumulation. UV-B radiation affected leaf photosynthesis mostly at early stage of growth and tended to be temperature-dependent. For instance, UV-B radiation caused 3–15% decrease of photosynthetic rate (PN) on the uppermost, fully expanded leaves at 24/16°C and 36/28°C, but stimulated PN about 5–18% at 30/22°C temperature. Moreover, the observed UV-B protection mechanisms, such as accumulation of phenolics and waxes, exhibited a significant interaction among the treatments where these compounds were relatively less responsive (phenolics) or more responsive (waxes) to UV-B radiation at higher temperature treatments or vice versa. Plants exposed to UV-B radiation produced more leaf waxes except at 24/16°C treatment. The detrimental effect of UV-B radiation was greater on plant growth compared to the photosynthetic processes. Results suggest that maize growth and development, especially stem elongation, is highly sensitive to current and projected UV-B radiation levels, and temperature plays an important role in the magnitude and direction of the UV-B mediated responses.

Additional key words

photosynthesis phenolic compounds, stem elongation, waxes 

Abbreviations

BAR

biomass accumulation rate

Car

carotenoids

Chl

chlorophyll

DAE

days after emergence

Fv′/Fm

quantum efficiency by oxidized (open) PSII reaction center in light or actual PSII efficiency

LA

leaf area

LAER

leaf area expansion rate

MSER

main stem elongation rate

MSNN

main stem node number

PH

plant height

PN

net photosynthetic rate

SPAR

soilplant-atmosphere research

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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Singh
    • 2
  • K. R. Reddy
    • 1
  • V. R. Reddy
    • 2
  • W. Gao
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Plant and Soil SciencesMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  2. 2.Crop Systems and Global Change LaboratoryUSDA-ARSBeltsvilleUSA
  3. 3.USDA-UV-B Monitoring Network, Natural Resource Ecology LaboratoryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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