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Exogenous Spermidine Optimizes Nitrogen Metabolism and Improves Maize Yield under Drought Stress Conditions

This study was to explore the nitrogen metabolism and transcriptome mechanism of spermidine (Spd) under drought stress conditions. Firstly, maize variety Xianyu 335 (drought insensitive type) and Fenghe 1 (drought sensitive type) were chosen as experimental materials under hydroponic conditions. The effects of PEG-6000 combined with Spd application on nitrogen metabolism were studied. Secondly, we chose maize variety Xianyu 335 for the field experiment. At the flowering stage, normal water treatment and moderate drought stress were carried out, respectively. The results showed that: (1) Hydroponics experiment showed that the content of NH4+ in the leaves of maize seedlings under drought stress increased significantly, while the content of NO3− and nitrate reductase (NR), glutamine synthetase (GS), glutamate synthase (GOGAT), glutamine dehydrogenase (GDH), glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT) increased significantly. Spd can promote the assimilation of excess ammonia by enhancing the activities of ammonia assimilating enzymes GS/GOGAT and GDH, and transaminase (GOT and GPT), effectively alleviate the ammonia toxicity and nitrogen metabolism disorder induced by drought stress. (2) Pot experiment showed that Spd significantly promoted the root growth of maize under drought stress, so as to improve the absorption and utilization of water and nutrients. In addition, Spd can improve the chlorophyll content and photosynthetic rate of maize leaves under drought stress. After the application of exogenous Spd, the photosynthetic green leaf area increased, the leaf senescence rate slowed down, and the dry matter accumulation increased after anthesis, resulting in the increase of grain weight and grain number per ear, and finally improve the maize yield.

Publication date: 20/08/2022

Author: Ling Dong

Reference: doi: 10.3390/agriculture12081270



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 1914.