Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Young plants of maize inbred lines CE777, CE704, and CE810 and their F1 hybrids displaying a positive heterotic effect in various photosynthetic characteristics were exposed to low temperature during their early growth developmental stage. The photochemical activity of isolated mesophyll chloroplasts and the contents of photosynthetic pigments in leaves of stressed and non-stressed plants were compared with the aim to find out the possible changes in the relationship between parents and hybrids, and to determine the genetic basis of heterosis in F1 generation. Strong decrease in the content of chlorophylls was observed for all genotypes examined when plants were subjected to low growth temperature. Similar change was recorded for Hill reaction activity (HRA) of inbred lines but not of their F1 hybrids, and no significant response at all was found for photosystem 1 (PS1) activity or the total carotenoids content. The intraspecific variation due to differences between genotypes was found for most of photosynthetic characteristics examined. This variation was caused by the additive and dominance genetic effects. Positive dominance was the main cause of positive heterosis in HRA and in the contents of photosynthetic pigments and was much more pronounced in the stressed plants compared to the non-stressed ones. The maternal additive effects participated in the inheritance of contents of photosynthetic pigments in plants exposed to low temperature, too.
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