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Hongxiao Jin

Hongxiao Jin


Hongxiao Jin

Heat dissipation from photosynthesis contributes to maize thermoregulation under suboptimal temperature conditions


  • Verónica Sobejano‐Paz
  • Xingguo Mo
  • Suxia Liu
  • Teis Nørgaard Mikkelsen
  • Lihong He
  • Hongxiao Jin
  • Mónica García

Summary, in English

The extent to which plants thermoregulate to maintain relatively stable metabolic function in response to gradual and rapid temperature changes that jeopardize crop production is unclear. Maize thermoregulation was investigated based on leaf temperature (TL) measurements and its relationship with photochemistry and stomatal conductance (gs) under dry and wet soil scenarios. Seasonal climatology was simulated in a growth chamber according to Beijing’s climatology with extreme “hot days” based on historical maxima.

Maize behaved as a limited homeotherm, an adaptive strategy to maintain photosynthesis around optimum temperatures (Topt). Plants on drier soil had lower thermoregulatory capacity, with reduced gs, photosynthesis and transpiration, which impacted final yields, despite acclimation with a higher Topt to sustained stress. On hot days thermoregulation was affected by heat stress and water availability, suggesting that strong and frequent heatwaves will reduce crop activity although increased temperatures could bring photosynthesis closer to Topt in the region.

We propose a novel mechanism to explain thermoregulation from the contribution of heat dissipation via non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) to TL, supporting our hypothesis that NPQ acts as a negative feedback mechanism from photosynthesis by increasing TL in suboptimal conditions. These results could help to design adaptation strategies based on deficit irrigation.


  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year






Document type





  • Horticulture
  • Climate Research
  • Environmental Sciences


  • thermoregulation
  • Non‐Photochemical Quenching (NPQ )
  • thermal remote sensing
  • water stress
  • fluorescence, stomatal conductance
  • photosynthesis
  • optimum temperature
  • heat waves
  • maize
  • transpiration