Russian Journal of Plant Physiology

, Volume 65, Issue 6, pp 849–856 | Cite as

Effects of Drought Stress on the Photosynthesis in Maize

  • J. Liu
  • Y. Y. Guo
  • Y. W. Bai
  • J. J. Camberato
  • J. Q. Xue
  • R. H. ZhangEmail author
Research Papers


To clarify how the components of the entire photosynthetic electron transport chain in response to drought stress in maize. The activities of photosystem II (PSII), photosystem I (PSI), and the electron transport chain between PSII and PSI of maize were investigated by prompt fluorescence (PF), delayed fluorescence (DF) and 820 nm modulated reflection (MR). Maize (Zea mays L.) plants were subjected to different levels of soil water availability including control, moderate and severe drought stress. A significant decrease in ϕE0, Ψ0 and PIABS was found in maize treated with moderate drought stress. A significant increase in ABS/RC was observed, but there were no significant change in the fast MR phase and the amplitude of DF under moderate drought stress compared to the control. Under severe drought stress, the exchange capacity between QA to QB, reoxidation capacity of plastoquinol, and the oxidation and re-reduction rates of PC and P700 all decreased. These results demonstrated that moderate drought stress reduced the photochemical activity of PSII from QA to PQH2, while the photochemical activity of PSI was unscathed. However, severe drought stress inhibited the entire electron transport chain from the donor side of PSII to PSI-end electron acceptors. In addition, the photochemical activity of PSII is more sensitive to drought stress than PSI.


Zea mays drought stress delayed fluorescence modulated 820 nm reflection photosynthetic electron transport prompt fluorescence 



the absorption of antenna chlorophyll per PSII reaction center


minimal fluorescence of the darkadapted state


fluorescence at K step


maximal fluorescence of the dark-adapted state


oxygen-evolving complex


the performance index for energy conservation from photons absorbed by PSII to the reduction of intersystem electron acceptors


primary quinone acceptor of PSII


fluorescence at I step


fluorescence at J step


fluorescence at time t after onset of actinic illumination


the efficiency of an electron beyond


that reduced PSI acceptors


quantum yield for electron transport


maximum quantum yield for primary photochemistry


the efficiency of an electron beyond QA


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Liu
    • 1
  • Y. Y. Guo
    • 1
  • Y. W. Bai
    • 1
  • J. J. Camberato
    • 2
  • J. Q. Xue
    • 1
  • R. H. Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Maize in Arid Area of Northwest Region, Ministry of Agriculture, College of AgronomyNorthwest A&F UniversityYangling ShaanxiChina
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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