Photosynthetic determinants of growth in maize plants: Effects of nitrogen nutrition on growth, carbon fixation and photochemical features

Steven C Huber, Tatsuo Sugiyama, R. S. Alberte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Maize(Zea mays L.) plants were grown in a greenhouse with different levels of nitrate-N (2 to 20 millimolar). Nitrogen nutrition had dramatic effects on plant growth and photosynthetic characteristics of mature leaves. Increasing nitrogen resulted in greater biomass production, shoot/root ratios, and rates of leaf expansion during the day. The elongating zone of high-N plants had higher activities (per gram fresh weight) of sucrose synthase and neutral invertase than low-N plants, suggesting that increased leaf growth was related to a greater biochemical capacity for sucrose metabolism.Mature leaves of high-N plants had higher rates of photosynthesis and assimilate export (sucrose formation), and partitioned more carbon into sucrose relative to starch. Increased photosynthetic rates (leaf area basis) were associated with higher levels of ribulose-l,5-bisphosphate carboxylase, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and pyruvate, phosphate dikinase (determined immunochemically). In addition, N-nutrition affected the functional organization of chlorophyll in the leaves. Large increases in the number of PS I reaction centers were observed which fully accounted for increases in leaf chlorophyll content with increasing nitrate supply.Collectively, the results suggest that increased growth of maize plants at high light and optimal nitrogen nutrition is related to greater capacity for photosynthesis and translocation in mature leaves, and possibly increased capacity for sucrose metabolism in expanding leaves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1072
Number of pages10
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1989

Fingerprint

Carbon Cycle
Calvin cycle
Zea mays
Nitrogen
nutrition
corn
Sucrose
nitrogen
Growth
leaves
sucrose
Photosynthesis
Chlorophyll
Nitrates
Orthophosphate Dikinase Pyruvate
Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxylase
beta-Fructofuranosidase
nitrates
photosynthesis
chlorophyll

Keywords

  • Assimilate export
  • Maize, biomass production
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase
  • Photosynthetic unit density
  • Sucrose metabolism
  • Sucrose-phosphate synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Photosynthetic determinants of growth in maize plants : Effects of nitrogen nutrition on growth, carbon fixation and photochemical features. / Huber, Steven C; Sugiyama, Tatsuo; Alberte, R. S.

In: Plant and Cell Physiology, Vol. 30, No. 8, 12.1989, p. 1063-1072.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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