Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

How does temperature affect C and N allocation to the seeds during the seed-filling period in pea? Effect on seed nitrogen concentration

Annabelle Larmure A C , Christophe Salon B and Nathalie G. Munier-Jolain B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A ENESAD, Département Agronomie et Environnement, 26 bd Dr Petitjean, BP 87999, 21079 Dijon cedex, France.

B INRA, Unité de Génétique et d’Ecophysiologie des Légumineuses, 17 rue Sully, BP 86510, 21065 Dijon cedex, France.

C Corresponding author. Email: a.larmure@enesad.fr

Functional Plant Biology 32(11) 1009-1017 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP05154
Submitted: 20 June 2005  Accepted: 4 August 2005   Published: 28 October 2005

Abstract

The effect of moderate temperature on seed N concentration during the seed-filling period was evaluated in pea (Pisum sativum L.) kept in growth cabinets and the relation between plant assimilate availability and the variation of seed N concentration with temperature was investigated. Seed N concentration of pea was significantly lowered when temperature during the seed-filling period decreased from a day / night temperature of 25 / 20°C to 15 / 10°C. Our results demonstrate that during the seed-filling period mechanisms linked with assimilate availability can modify seed N accumulation rate and / or seed-filling duration between 25 / 20°C and 15 / 10°C. At the lower temperature (15 / 10°C), an increased C availability resulting from an enhanced carbon fixation per degree-day allowed new competing vegetative sinks to grow as pea is an indeterminate plant. Consequently N availability to filling seeds was reduced. Because the rate of seed N accumulation per degree-day mainly depends on N availability to filling seeds, the rate of seed N accumulation was lower at the low temperature of our study (15 / 10°C) than at 25 / 20°C while seed growth rate per degree-day remains unaffected, consequently seed N concentration was reduced. Concomitantly, the increased C availability at the lower temperature prolonged the duration of the seed-filling period.

Keywords: Pisum sativum L., plant C and N assimilate availability, seed filling, seed N concentration, temperature.


Acknowledgments

We thank Patrick Mathey, Christian Jeudy, Josette Gonthier and Vincent Durey for technical assistance. We are also grateful to the experimental management staff of INRA Epoisses. This research was supported by a grant of UNIP (Union Nationale Interprofessionnelle des Plantes Riches en Protéines) and AIP Agraf INRA.


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