High night temperature induces contrasting responses for spikelet fertility, spikelet tissue temperature, flowering characteristics and grain quality in rice uri icon


  • Climate change is increasing night temperature (NT) more than day temperature (DT) in rice-growing areas. Effects of combinations of NT (24-35 degrees C) from microsporogenesis to anthesis at one or more DT (30 or 35 degrees C) at anthesis on rice spikelet fertility, temperature within spikelets, flowering pattern, grain weight per panicle, amylose content and gel consistency were investigated in contrasting rice cultivars under controlled environments. Cultivars differed in spikelet fertility response to high NT, with higher fertility associated with cooler spikelets (P < 0.01). Flowering dynamics were altered by high NT and a novel high temperature tolerance complementary mechanism, shorter flower open duration in cv. N22, was identified. High NT reduced spikelet fertility, grain weight per panicle, amylose content and gel consistency, whereas high DT reduced only gel consistency. Night temperature >27 degrees C was estimated to reduce grain weight. Generally, high NT was more damaging to grain weight and selected grain quality traits than high DT, with little or no interaction between them. The critical tolerance and escape traits identified, i.e. spikelet cooling, relatively high spikelet fertility, earlier start and peak time of anthesis and shorter spikelet anthesis duration can aid plant breeding programs targeting resilience in warmer climates.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2015