Biomass accumulation and partitioning of newly developed Green Super Rice (GSR) cultivars under drought stress during the reproductive stage uri icon

abstract

  • Drought is a major abiotic threat in rice production; thus, there is a need to develop adaptable rice varieties that can withstand drought stress and still produce high yield in non-stressed environments. Green Super Rice (GSR) cultivars address this issue. These cultivars are bred through an innovative introgression breeding strategy that requires less irrigation water and chemical inputs without compromising grain quality and yield. This study verified the physiological efficiency and performance of newly developed GSR cultivars that previously showed favorable response to drought during advanced yield trials. Five drought-tolerant GSR cultivars and two checks were subjected to continuously flooded (CF) and drought-stressed environments during the dry seasons of 2011 and 2012 at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) experimental farms in Los Banos, Philippines. The cultivars' ability to allocate assimilates and accumulate biomass under drought stress during the reproductive stage was verified. Leaf area index (LAI), biomass dry weight, and panicle yield were measured at the panicle initiation (PI), flowering (FL), and physiological maturity (PM) of the sample cultivars. All the cultivars performed satisfactorily in the CF environment with grain yield ranging from 5 to 11.5 tons ha(-1). Water stress during the reproductive stage significantly reduced grain yield by 75-88% in the moderate drought (soil water tension between 100 and 300 kPa in upper 15 cm soil layer) and 77-96% in the severe drought (soil water tension >300 kPa in upper 15 cm soil layer) experiments. The shortened reproductive duration mainly contributed to the significant reduction in yield under drought stress. Two GSR cultivars, GSR IR1-5-S10-D1-D1 and IR83142-B-19-B, responded well in severe drought environments, with grain yield almost similar to the drought check (1.79 tons ha(-1)). Under moderate drought stress, there was a relative yield advantage of 25% and 40% for the two GSR cultivars over the drought check, respectively. Yield advantage across environments, varying from fully irrigated to drought-stressed, was 31-36%. These two GSR cultivars were effective in mobilizing stored carbohydrates from the vegetative organs to the panicles and not shortening the duration from flowering to maturity, to allow all reserved carbohydrates be allocated to storage organs as a mechanism to cope with drought stress. Lower leaf area index (LAI), which allowed balanced biomass accumulation and lower transpiration, without a significant decrease in grain filling duration, was another drought-coping strategy. These physiological responses and characteristics apparently enabled the GSR cultivars to withstand drought stress; these are key indicators for varietal selection in drought-prone environments, particularly in severe drought stress in the reproductive stage. Despite the poor ability of some cultivars to cope with severe drought, three out of five selected GSR cultivars produced grain yield (2.0-2.9 tons ha(-1)) that was the same or higher than the drought check in moderate drought stress. The introgression breeding technique applied in the newly developed drought-tolerant cultivars through the GSR breeding strategy was found to be effective. It could produce high yields in both CF and water-limited environments, and thus, it could serve as a model for other breeding programs to adopt. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014
  • 2014