Adaptability and recovery capability of two maize inbred-line foundation genotypes, following treatment with progressive water-deficit stress and stress recovery


Two maize inbred lines, the foundation genotype Y478 and its derived line Z58, are widely used to breed novel maize cultivars in China, but little is known about which traits confer Z58 with superior drought tolerance and yield. In the present study, responses in growth traits, photosynthetic parameters, chlorophyll fluorescence and leaf micromorphological characteristics were evaluated in Y478 and Z58 subjected to water-deficit stress induced by PEG 6000. The derived line Z58 showed greater drought tolerance than Y478, which was associated with higher leaf relative water content (RWC), root efficiency, and strong growth recovery. Z58 showed a higher stomatal density and stomatal area under the non-stressed condition; in these traits, both genotypes showed a similar decreasing trend with increased severity of water-deficit stress. In addition, the stomatal size of Y478 declined significantly. These micromorphological differences between the two lines were consistent with changes in physiological parameters, which may contribute to the enhanced capability for growth recovery in Z58. A non-linear response of Fv/Fm to leaf RWC was observed, and Fv/Fm decreased rapidly with a further gradual decline of leaf RWC. The relationship between other chlorophyll fluorescence parameters (photochemical quenching and electron transport rate) and RWC is also discussed.

Share and Cite:

Fan, X. , Huang, G. , Zhang, L. , Deng, T. and Li, Y. (2013) Adaptability and recovery capability of two maize inbred-line foundation genotypes, following treatment with progressive water-deficit stress and stress recovery. Agricultural Sciences, 4, 389-398. doi: 10.4236/as.2013.48056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Lizana, C., Wentworth, M., Martinez, J.P., Villegas, D., Meneses, R., et al. (2006) Differential adaptation of two varieties of common bean to abiotic stress. Effects of drought on yield and photosynthesis. Journal of Experimental Botany, 57, 685-697. doi:10.1093/jxb/erj062
[2] Fan, X.W., Li, F.M., Song, L., Xiong, Y.C., An, L.Z., Jia, Y. and Fang, X.W. (2009) Defense strategy of old and modern spring wheat varieties during soil drying. Physiologia Plantarum, 136, 310-23. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3054.2009.01225.x
[3] Liang, J.S. and Zhang, J.H. (1999) The relations of stomatal closure and reopening to xylem ABA concentration and leaf water potential during soil drying and rewatering. Plant Growth Regulation, 29, 77-86. doi:10.1023/A:1006207900619
[4] Li, Y.Z., Sun, C.B., Huang, Z.B., Pan, J.L., Wang, L. and Fan, X.W. (2009) Mechanisms of progressive water deficit tolerance and growth recovery of Chinese maizes foundation genotypes of Huangzao 4 and Chang7-2, which are proposed on the basis of comparison of physiological and transcriptomic responses. Plant and Cell Physiology, 50, 1-20. doi:10.1093/pcp/pcp145
[5] Chaves, M.M., Flexas, J. and Pinheiro, C. (2009) Photosynthesis under drought and salt stress: Regulation mechanisms from whole plant to cell. Annals of Botany, 103, 551-560. doi:10.1093/aob/mcn125
[6] Hayano-Kanashiro, C., Calderón-Vázquez, C., IbarraLaclette, E., Herrera-Estrella, L. and Simpson, J. (2009) Analysis of gene expression and physiological responses in three Mexican maize landraces under drought stress and recovery irrigation. PLoS One, 4, e7531. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007531
[7] Blackman, P.J. and Davies, W.J. (1985) Root-to-shoot communication in maize plants of the effects of soil drying. Journal of Experimental Botany, 36, 39-48. doi:10.1093/jxb/36.1.39
[8] Fan, X.W., Li, F.M., Xiong, Y.C., An, L.Z. and Long, R.J. (2008) The cooperative relation between non-hydraulic root signals and osmotic adjustment under water stress improves grain formation for spring wheat varieties. Physiologia Plantarum, 132, 283-292. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3054.2007.01007.x
[9] Changhai, S., Baodi, D., Yunzhou, Q., Yuxin, L., Lei, S., Mengyu, L. and Haipei, L. (2010) Physiological regulation of high transpiration efficiency in winter wheat under drought conditions. Plant Soil Environment, 56, 340-347
[10] Pingali, P.L. and Pandey, S. (2001) Meeting world maize needs: Technological opportunities and priorities for the public sector. CIMMYT 1999-2000 World Maize Facts and Trends Meeting World Maize Needs Technological Opportunities and Priorities for the Public Sector 2001.
[11] Zhang, F.L. (2001) Breeding process and its application of maize superior inbred line Z58. Journal of Crop, 4, 21.
[12] Hilbert, D.W., Swift, D.M., Detling, J.K. and Dyer, M.I. (1981) Relative growth rates and the grazing optimization hypothesis. Oecologia, 51, 14-18. doi:10.1007/BF00344645
[13] Wang, Z.Y., Li, F.M., Xiong, Y.C. and Xu, B.C. (2008) Soil-water threshold range of chemical signals and drought tolerance was mediated by ROS homeostasis in winter wheat during progressive soil drying. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, 27, 309-319. doi:10.1007/s00344-008-9057-4
[14] Radoglou, K.M. and Jarvis, P.G. (1990) Effects of CO2 enrichment on four poplar clones. II. Leaf surface properties. Annals of Botany, 65, 627-632.
[15] Abbruzzese, G., Beritognolo, I., Muleo, R., Piazzai, M., Sabatti, M., Mugnozza, G.S. and Kuzminsky, E. (2009) Leaf morphological plasticity and stomatal conductance in three Populus alba L. genotypes subjected to salt stress. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 66, 381-388. doi:10.1016/j.envexpbot.2009.04.008
[16] Chaves, M.M. (1991) Effects of water deficit on carbon assimilation. Journal of Experimental Botany, 42, 1-16. doi:10.1093/jxb/42.1.1
[17] Lawlor, D.W. and Cornic, G. (2002) Photosynthetic carbon assimilation and associated metabolism in relation to water deficits in higher plants. Plant Cell and Environment, 25, 275-294. doi:10.1046/j.0016-8025.2001.00814.x
[18] O’Toole, J.C. and Moya, T.B. (1978) Genotypic Variation in Maintenance of Leaf Water Potential in Rice. Crop Science, 18, 873-876. doi:10.2135/cropsci1978.0011183X001800050050x
[19] Lafitte, R. (2002) Relationship between leaf relative water content during reproductive stage water deficit and grain formation in rice. Field Crops Research, 76, 165-174. doi:10.1016/S0378-4290(02)00037-0
[20] Nautiyal, P.C., Rachaputi, N.R. and Joshi, Y.C. (2002) Moisture deficit-induced changes in leaf-water content, leaf carbon exchange rate and biomass production in groundnut cultivars differing in specific leaf area. Field Crops Research, 74, 67-79. doi:10.1016/S0378-4290(01)00199-X
[21] Yoo, C.Y., Pence, H.E., Hasegawa, P.M. and Mickelbart, M.V. (2009) Regulation of transpiration to improve crop water use. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 28, 410-431. doi:10.1080/07352680903173175
[22] Meng, L., Li, L., Chen, W., Xu, Z. and Liu, L. (1999) Effect of water stress on stomatal density, length, width and net photosynthetic rate in rice leaves. Journal of Shenyang Agricultural University, 30, 477-480.
[23] Xu, Z.Z. and Zhou, G.S. (2008) Responses of leaf stomatal density to water status and its relationship with photosynthesis in a grass. Journal of Experimental Botany, 59, 3317-3325. doi:10.1093/jxb/ern185
[24] Sperry, J.S. (2000) Hydraulic constraints on plant gas exchange. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 104, 13-23. doi:10.1016/S0168-1923(00)00144-1
[25] Souza, R.P., Machado, E.C., Silva, J.A.B., Lagoa, A.M.M.A. and Silveira, J.A.G. (2004) Photosynthetic gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence and some associated metabolic changes in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) during water stress and recovery. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 51, 45-56. doi:10.1016/S0098-8472(03)00059-5
[26] Schreiber, U., Vidaver, W., Runeckles, V.C. and Rosen, P. (1978) Chlorophyll fluorescence assay for ozone injury in intact plants. Plant Physiology, 61, 80-84. doi:10.1104/pp.61.1.80
[27] Conroy, J.P., Smillie, R.M., Kuppers, M., Bevege, D.I. and Barlow, E.W. (1986) Chlorophyll a fluorescence and photosynthetic and growth responses of Pinus radiata to phosphorus deficiency, drought stress, and high CO2. Plant Physiology, 81, 423-429.
[28] Woo, N.S., Badger, M.R. and Pogson, B.J. (2008) A rapid, non-invasive procedure for quantitative assessment of drought survival using chlorophyll fluorescence. Plant Methods, 4, 27. doi:10.2307/2444243
[29] Araus, J.L., Alegre, L., Tapia, L., Calafell, R. and Serret, M.D. (1986) Relationship between photosynthetic capacity and leaf structure in several shade plants. American Journal of Botany, 73, 1760-1770. doi:10.1093/jxb/erg087
[30] Schluter, U., Muschak, M., Berger, D. and Altmann, T. 2003. Photosynthetic performance of an Arabidopsis mutant with elevated stomatal density (sdd1-1) under different light regimes. Journal of Experimental Botany, 54, 867-874.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.