Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2008, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (4): 914-921.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2008.04.021

• Original article • Previous Articles     Next Articles


LIU Tian-Xue1,2, LI Chao-Hai1,*(), MA Xin-Ming1, ZHAO Xia1, LIU Shi-Ying1   

  1. 1Agronomy College, Henan Agricultural University, Regional Center for New Technology Creation of Corn of Department of Agriculture of People’s Republic of China, Zhengzhou 450002, China
    2Department of Life Science, Zhoukou Normal University, Zhoukou, Henan 466000, China
  • Received:2007-06-13 Accepted:2007-07-23 Online:2008-06-13 Published:2008-07-30
  • Contact: LI Chao-Hai


Aims Although maize (Zea mays) intercropped with other species enhances utilization efficiency of natural resources such as light, heat, water and fertilizer, which increases yields, it has caused great difficulty in cultivation. Presently, there is substantial agronomic evidence for yield advantage among mixtures, maize intercropping with different genotypes included. Our objective was to investigate the effects of maize intercropping with different genotypes on the senescence of leaves, yield and quality.

Methods We conducted a field experiment on the farm of Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, China, using four maize varieties, three semi-compact plant types (YY19, ZD041 and LD981) and one compact plant type (ZD958). The experimental plots of 6 m×6 m were separated by 1 m. The experiments were planted by hand with rows oriented north-south and spacing of 0.70 and 0.50 m. The ratio of two maize varieties intercropped was 1:1 per row. The planting density was 67 500 plants·hm-2.There were six treatments: each of the varieties alone, YY19 intercropped with ZD041 (YY19║ZD041), and ZD958 intercropped with LD981 (ZD958║LD981). There were four replicate plots for each treatment, arranged in a randomized complete block design.

Important findingsThe activities of SOD and POD of leaves increased in the intercropping treatments 10 days after silking, which resulted in decreased MDA contents of leaves. The activities of CAT of leaves in ZD041 and ZD958 increased or increased markedly, while YY19 and LD981 decreased slightly. The changes of activities of SOD and POD and contents of MDA in leaves remained similar 40 days after silking. Meanwhile, the activities of CAT of leaves increased, among them YY19 increased significantly. Also, yields, land equivalent ratio (LER) and grain quality were enhanced in the intercopped colonies. Results suggested that suitable maize intercropping with different genotypes would increase the activities of SOD, POD and CAT of leaf, prolong leaf life, increase yield and improve quality.

Key words: maize, intercropping, senescence, yield, quality