Participation of Green Organs to Grain Filling in Triticum turgidum var durum Grown under Mediterranean Conditions uri icon


  • In wheat, flag leaf, stem, chaff and awns contribute to grain filling through photosynthesis and/or re-mobilization. Environmental and genetic effects on the relative contribution of each organ were examined by analyzing the consequences of sink-source manipulations (shading and excision) and by comparing carbon isotope discrimination () values in dry matter (at maturity) and sap (two weeks after anthesis) in six durum wheat genotypes grown in two contrasting seasons. The contribution of flag leaf, stem, chaff and awns to grain filling, estimated by sink-source manipulations, highly varied with the season. The contribution of ear photosynthesis and re-mobilization from the stem increased with post-anthesis water stress. They showed a large genetic variation that was, however, not clearly associated to morphological characteristics of ear and stem. Isotopic imprints of chaff on grain were identified as a possible surrogate of the destructive and cumbersome sink-source manipulations to evaluate the contribution of carbon assimilated in ears or re-mobilized from stem. This might facilitate screening of genetic resources and allow the combining of favourable drought tolerance mechanisms in wheat.

publication date

  • 2018
  • 2017