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Relative contributions of light interception and radiation use efficiency to the reduction of maize productivity under cold temperatures

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Louarn, G., Chenu, K., Fournier, C., Andrieu, B. and Giauffret, C. (2008) Relative contributions of light interception and radiation use efficiency to the reduction of maize productivity under cold temperatures. Functional Plant Biology, 35 (10). pp. 885-899.


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP08061

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au/


Maize (Zea mays L.) is a chill-susceptible crop cultivated in northern latitude environments. The detrimental effects of cold on growth and photosynthetic activity have long been established. However, a general overview of how important these processes are with respect to the reduction of productivity reported in the field is still lacking. In this study, a model-assisted approach was used to dissect variations in productivity under suboptimal temperatures and quantify the relative contributions of light interception (PARc) and radiation use efficiency (RUE) from emergence to flowering. A combination of architectural and light transfer models was used to calculate light interception in three field experiments with two cold-tolerant lines and at two sowing dates. Model assessment confirmed that the approach was suitable to infer light interception. Biomass production was strongly affected by early sowings. RUE was identified as the main cause of biomass reduction during cold events. Furthermore, PARc explained most of the variability observed at flowering, its relative contributions being more or less important according to the climate experienced. Cold temperatures resulted in lower PARc, mainly because final leaf length and width were significantly reduced for all leaves emerging after the first cold occurrence. These results confirm that virtual plants can be useful as fine phenotyping tools. A scheme of action of cold on leaf expansion, light interception and radiation use efficiency is discussed with a view towards helping breeders define relevant selection criteria.

This paper originates from a presentation at the 5th International Workshop on Functional–Structural Plant Models, Napier, New Zealand, November 2007.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:© CSIRO.
Keywords:Architecture; chill stress; elite inbreds; light transfer model; structural model; Zea mays.
Subjects:Plant culture > Field crops > Corn. Maize
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Science > Statistics > Simulation modelling
Live Archive:30 Jan 2009 05:57
Last Modified:20 Mar 2024 02:35

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