More fertile florets and grains per spike can be achieved at higher temperature in wheat lines with high spike biomass and sugar content at booting

M. Fernanda Dreccer, Kimberley B. Wockner, Jairo A. Palta, C. Lynne McIntyre, M. Gabriela Borgognone, Maryse Bourgault, Matthew Reynolds, Daniel J. Miralles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

An understanding of processes regulating wheat floret and grain number at higher temperatures is required to better exploit genetic variation. In this study we tested the hypothesis that at higher temperatures, a reduction in floret fertility is associated with a decrease in soluble sugars and this response is exacerbated in genotypes low in water soluble carbohydrates (WSC). Four recombinant inbred lines contrasting for stem WSC were grown at 20/10 °C and 11h photoperiod until terminal spikelet, and then continued in a factorial combination of 20/10°C or 28/14 °C with 11h or 16h photoperiod until anthesis. Across environments, High WSC lines had more grains per spike associated with more florets per spike. The number of fertile florets was associated with spike biomass at booting and, by extension, with glucose amount, both higher in High WSC lines. At booting, High WSC lines had higher fixed 13C and higher levels of expression of genes involved in photosynthesis and sucrose transport and lower in sucrose degradation compared with Low WSC lines. At higher temperature, the intrinsic rate of floret development rate before booting was slower in High WSC lines. Grain set declined with the intrinsic rate of floret development before booting, with an advantage for High WSC lines at 28/14°C and 16h. Genotypic and environmental action on floret fertility and grain set was summarised in a model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-495
Number of pages14
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • floret
  • grain number
  • photoperiod
  • water soluble carbohydrates.

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