Natural variation in photosynthetic capacity, growth and yield in 64 field-grown wheat genotypes

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Driever, S. M., Lawson, T., Andralojc, P. J., Raines, C. A. and Parry, M. A. J. 2014. Natural variation in photosynthetic capacity, growth and yield in 64 field-grown wheat genotypes. Journal of Experimental Botany. 65 (17), pp. 4949-4973.

AuthorsDriever, S. M., Lawson, T., Andralojc, P. J., Raines, C. A. and Parry, M. A. J.
Abstract

Increasing photosynthesis in wheat has been identified as an approach to enhance crop yield, with manipulation of key genes involved in electron transport and the Calvin cycle as one avenue currently being explored. However, natural variation in photosynthetic capacity is a currently unexploited genetic resource for potential crop improvement. Using gas-exchange analysis and protein analysis, the existing natural variation in photosynthetic capacity in a diverse panel of 64 elite wheat cultivars grown in the field was examined relative to growth traits, including biomass and harvest index. Significant variations in photosynthetic capacity, biomass, and yield were observed, although no consistent correlation was found between photosynthetic capacity of the flag leaf and grain yield when all cultivars were compared. The majority of the variation in photosynthesis could be explained by components related to maximum capacity and operational rates of CO2 assimilation, and to CO2 diffusion. Cluster analysis revealed that cultivars may have been bred unintentionally for desirable traits at the expense of photosynthetic capacity. These findings suggest that there is significant underutilized photosynthetic capacity among existing wheat varieties. Our observations are discussed in the context of exploiting existing natural variation in physiological processes for the improvement of photosynthesis in wheat.

KeywordsBiomass; natural variation; photosynthetic capacity; Rubisco; wheat; yield
Year of Publication2014
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Journal citation65 (17), pp. 4949-4973
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1093/jxb/eru253
PubMed ID24963002
PubMed Central IDPMC4144772
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeWheat
Manipulation of photosynthetic carbon metabolism in wheat to improve yield
[20:20 Wheat] Maximising yield potential of wheat
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online24 Jun 0214
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
ISSN0022-0957

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