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Open Access Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 41(5)

More fertile florets and grains per spike can be achieved at higher temperature in wheat lines with high spike biomass and sugar content at booting

M. Fernanda Dreccer A G, Kimberley B. Wockner A, Jairo A. Palta B, C. Lynne McIntyre C, M. Gabriela Borgognone D, Maryse Bourgault C, Matthew Reynolds E and Daniel J. Miralles F

A CSIRO Plant Industry, Cooper Laboratory, PO Box 863, University of Queensland, Warrego Highway, Gatton, Qld 4343, Australia.
B CSIRO Plant Industry, Wembley, WA 6913, Australia.
C CSIRO Plant Industry, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, 306 Carmody Road, St Lucia, Qld 4067, Australia.
D Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Leslie Research Facility, 13 Holberton Street, Toowoomba, Qld 4350, Australia.
E CIMMYT, Int. Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico, DF, Mexico.
F Facultad de Agronomia, Universidad de Buenos Aires, CONICET and IFEVA, Av. San Martin 4453, (C 1417 DSE) Buenos Aires, Argentina.
G Corresponding author. Email: fernanda.dreccer@csiro.au

Functional Plant Biology 41(5) 482-495 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP13232
Submitted: 2 August 2013  Accepted: 30 November 2013   Published: 6 January 2014


 
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Abstract

An understanding of processes regulating wheat floret and grain number at higher temperatures is required to better exploit genetic variation. In this study we tested the hypothesis that at higher temperatures, a reduction in floret fertility is associated with a decrease in soluble sugars and this response is exacerbated in genotypes low in water soluble carbohydrates (WSC). Four recombinant inbred lines contrasting for stem WSC were grown at 20/10°C and 11 h photoperiod until terminal spikelet, and then continued in a factorial combination of 20/10°C or 28/14°C with 11 h or 16 h photoperiod until anthesis. Across environments, High WSC lines had more grains per spike associated with more florets per spike. The number of fertile florets was associated with spike biomass at booting and, by extension, with glucose amount, both higher in High WSC lines. At booting, High WSC lines had higher fixed 13C and higher levels of expression of genes involved in photosynthesis and sucrose transport and lower in sucrose degradation compared with Low WSC lines. At higher temperature, the intrinsic rate of floret development rate before booting was slower in High WSC lines. Grain set declined with the intrinsic rate of floret development before booting, with an advantage for High WSC lines at 28/14°C and 16 h. Genotypic and environmental action on floret fertility and grain set was summarised in a model.

Additional keywords: floret, grain number, photoperiod, water soluble carbohydrates.


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