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

Dynamic analysis of the impact of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) on biomass and N uptake in two contrasting genotypes of rice

Jingjing Wu A B , Herbert J. Kronzucker C and Weiming Shi A D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China.

B University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.

C School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic. 3010, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: wmshi@issas.ac.cn

Functional Plant Biology - https://doi.org/10.1071/FP17278
Submitted: 5 October 2017  Accepted: 12 January 2018   Published online: 16 February 2018

Abstract

Elevated CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) in the atmosphere often increase photosynthetic rates and crop yields. However, the degree of the CO2 enhancement varies substantially among cultivars and with growth stage. Here, we examined the responses of two rice cultivars, Wuyunjing23 (WYJ) and IIyou084 (IIY), to two [CO2] (~400 vs ~600) and two nitrogen (N) provision conditions at five growth stages. In general, both seed yield and aboveground biomass were more responsive to elevated [CO2] in IIY than WYJ. However, the responses significantly changed at different N levels and growth stages. At the low N input, yield response to elevated [CO2] was negligible in both cultivars while, at the normal input, yield in IIY was 18.8% higher under elevated [CO2] than ambient [CO2]. Also, responses to elevated [CO2] significantly differed among various growth stages. Elevated [CO2] tended to increase aboveground plant biomass in both cultivars at the panicle initiation (PI) and the heading stages, but this effect was significant only in IIY by the mid-ripening and the grain maturity stages. In contrast, CO2 enhancement of root biomass only occurred in IIY. Elevated [CO2] increased both total N uptake and seed N in IIY but only increased seed N in WYJ, indicating that it enhanced N translocation to seeds in both cultivars but promoted plant N acquisition only in IIY. Root C accumulation and N uptake also exhibited stronger responses in IIY than in WYJ, particularly at the heading stage, which may play a pivotal role in seed filling and seed yield. Our results showed that the more effective use of CO2 in IIY compared with WYJ results in a strong response in root growth, nitrogen uptake, and in yield. These findings suggest that selection of [CO2]-responsive rice cultivars may help optimise the rice yield under future [CO2] scenarios.

Additional keywords: elevated [CO2], growth stages, rice cultivars, root, nitrogen, yield.


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