Nitrogen management and senescence in two maize hybrids differing in the persistence of leaf greenness: agronomic, physiological and molecular aspects

Mathieu Floriot, Antoine Martin, Xana Belastegui-Macadam, Isabelle Quillere, Marie-Helene Valadier, Bertrand Hirel, Bruno Andrieu, Bernard Pommel, Iain S. Donnison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Here, nitrogen management within the plant was compared in an early-senescing maize hybrid and in a late-senescing maize hybrid, both grown under field conditions with a high fertilisation input involving large quantities of fertiliser. We monitored, in representative leaf stages, the changes in metabolite content, enzyme activities and steady-state levels of transcripts for marker genes of N primary assimilation, N recycling and leaf senescence. The hybrids differed in terms of persistence of leaf greenness, the expression of marker genes and the concentration of enzymes used to describe the transition from N assimilation to N recycling. The transcription of leaf-senescence marker genes did not differ. Agronomic studies confirmed the ability of the late-senescing hybrid to absorb and store more N in shoots. Despite the differences in the mode of N management adopted by the two hybrids, we conclude that leaf senescence occurs independently of the source-to-sink transition at the high level of fertilisation used involving large quantities of fertiliser. The possibility of improving N metabolic efficiency in the latest maize hybrids is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-492
Number of pages10
JournalNew Phytologist
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2005

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