Two low-light sensitive varieties of sweet corn (Zea mays L.), cultivars Xiantian 5, and Huazhen, were subjected to different shading-intensity treatments during the grain-filling stage in a field experiment in order to clarify physiological mechanisms of lowlight effects on the yield, quality, and sucrose-metabolizing enzyme activity of sweet corn. The results showed that under weak light stress (50% light transmittance), the ear length and diameter, fresh ear yield, grains per row and grain weight, weight per ear and sugar content of the grains decreased sharply, while the bald length and water content of the fresh grains increased significantly. The 50% shading decreased the fresh ear yield, max weight per 100 fresh grains, and soluble sugar content of Xiantian 5 by 40.5, 31.3, and 19.5%, respectively, whereas those of Huazhen were decreased by 17.5, 19.8 and 10.1%, respectively. Shading furthermore suppressed the activities of sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) and sucrose synthetase (SS), and delayed the emergence of peak SPS activity.
Key words: Sweet corn, shading condition, yield, quality, sucrose-metabolizing enzyme.
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