Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 317–332 | Cite as

Effect of paclobutrazol, a potential growth regulator on stalk mechanical strength, lignin accumulation and its relation with lodging resistance of maize

  • Muhammad Kamran
  • Wenwen Cui
  • Irshad Ahmad
  • Xiangping Meng
  • Xudong Zhang
  • Wennan Su
  • Junzhi Chen
  • Shakeel Ahmad
  • Shah Fahad
  • Qingfang Han
  • Tiening Liu
Original paper
  • 204 Downloads

Abstract

Dense plant cultivation is an efficient approach to utilize the maximum inputs for increasing maize production. However, dense plant populations may prone to lodging as it results in increased plant height and reduced culm diameter; therefore, we hypothesized that weaker stems may be responsible for maize lodging. In this study, we examined the regulatory effects of paclobutrazol under two commonly used application methods (seed-soaking and seed-dressing). Seed-soaking with paclobutrazol at the rate of 0 (CK1), 200 (S1), 300 (S2), and 400 (S3) mg L−1, while seed-dressing at the rate of 0 (CK2), 1.5 (D1), 2.5 (D2), and 3.5 (D3) g kg−1 were used. Results showed that paclobutrazol improved the culm physical strength by increasing the rind penetration strength, stalk breaking strength, culm diameter, wall thickness, and dry weight per unit length of basal third internode, compared to control plants. Moreover, paclobutrazol reduced the internode length, plant height, ear height, center of gravity height and lodging rate in both growing seasons. In addition, more lignin was accumulated in the basal internode and the activities of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), peroxidase (POD), cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) and 4-coumarate: CoA ligase (4CL) increased with paclobutrazol, and their maximum values were observed in the S2 and D3 treatments, resulting in strong lodging resistance. Lignin content was positively and significantly correlated with the rind penetration strength, breaking strength of internode, and activities of PAL, 4CL, POD, and CAD, while significantly and negatively correlated with lodging percentage. The present findings suggested that 300 mg L−1 and 3.5 g kg−1 of paclobutrazol may efficiently be utilized to minimize the risk of lodging, not only by manipulating plant height but also by enhancing culm physical strength and lignin accumulation in basal internodes.

Keywords

Enzyme activities Lignin Lodging Paclobutrazol Stem strength Zea mays L. 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program, No. 2013AA102902), the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest (201303104), the 111 Project of Chinese Education Ministry (B12007).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Kamran
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wenwen Cui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Irshad Ahmad
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiangping Meng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xudong Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wennan Su
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junzhi Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shakeel Ahmad
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shah Fahad
    • 3
  • Qingfang Han
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tiening Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Agronomy, Key Laboratory of Crop Physio-Ecology and Tillage in Northwestern Loess Plateau, Minister of AgricultureNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Water Saving Agriculture in Arid Areas of ChinaNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  3. 3.College of Plant Sciences and TechnologyHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina

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