Partitioning of 13C-labelled photosynthate varies with growth stage and panicle size in high-yielding rice. uri icon

abstract

  • A super-high-yielding rice ( Oryza sativa L.) cultivar, Takanari, and a traditional japonica rice cultivar, Nakateshinsenbon, were grown under field conditions to compare partitioning of C-13-labelled photosynthate to different plant organs during the period of reproductive development. The flag leaf and the two leaves immediately below it on the main culm were exposed individually to (CO2)-C-13 and the movement of the heavy carbon isotope to grains, hull, panicle branches and vegetative parts of plant was assessed. Also, the effect of a reduction of sink size on the partitioning of C-13 to different organs was studied by removing some of the primary branches of the panicle. C-13 taken up by the three leaves in the post-heading period, moved mostly to the grains and hull of the panicle. At this stage, the uppermost three leaves and the panicle consisted of a single source - sink unit. Partitioning of C-13 to the rest of the vegetative structures of the plant was minimal. In the case of Nakateshinsenbon, the flag leaf supplied most of the carbon assimilates for the grains and contributions from the other two leaves were much smaller. However, in Takanari, the contribution of C-13 to grains from the second leaf was equivalent to that of the flag leaf. In Takanari, removal of more than one third of the primary branches of the panicle significantly reduced partitioning from the third leaf of the culm, but partitioning from the flag leaf was not significantly changed. In contrast, branch removal treatment significantly depressed transport of carbon assimilates from the flag leaf in Nakateshinsenbon. The obligatory nature of the source - sink relationship in rice is discussed. It is concluded that in lower-yielding traditional rice, photosynthesis in the flag leaf supplies carbon assimilates to the developing grains. But in the super-yielding rice Takanari, the main source area is extended to include the two leaves below the flag leaf so as to sustain an extra large panicle. Even greater grain-filling is possible in super-yielding rice, if the source area is increased further.

publication date

  • 2004
  • 2004