Temporal and spatial variations of carbon isotope signature reveal substantial contribution of bracts and internode assimilates to grain filling of japonica rice

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Jiang, M., Xu, H., Yang, N., Li, G., Ding, Y., Paul, M. J. and Liu, Z. 2020. Temporal and spatial variations of carbon isotope signature reveal substantial contribution of bracts and internode assimilates to grain filling of japonica rice. The Crop Journal. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cj.2020.06.011

AuthorsJiang, M., Xu, H., Yang, N., Li, G., Ding, Y., Paul, M. J. and Liu, Z.
Abstract

Carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of a plant organ is an inherent signature reflecting its physiological property, and thus is used as an integrative index in crop breeding. It is also a non-intrusive method for quantifying the relative contribution of different source organs to grain filling in cereals. Using the samples collected from two-year field and pot experiments with two nitrogen (N) fertilization treatments, we investigated the temporal and spatial variations of δ13C in source organs of leaf, sheath, internode, and bracts, and in sink organ grain. Constitutive nature of δ13C was uncovered, with an order of leaf (−27.84‰) < grain (−27.82‰) < sheath (−27.24‰) < bracts (−26.81‰) < internode (−25.67‰). For different positions of individual organs within the plant, δ13C of the leaf and sheath presented a diminishing trend from the top (flag leaf and its sheath) to the bottom (the last leaf in reverse order and its sheath). No obvious pattern was found for the internode. For temporal variations, δ13C of the leaf and sheath had a peak (the most negative) at 10 days after anthesis (DAA), whereas that of the bracts showed a marked increase at the time point of anthesis, implying a transformation from sink to source organ. By comparing the δ13C in its natural abundance in the water-soluble fractions of the sheath, internode, and bracts with the δ13C in mature grains, the relative contribution of these organs to grain filling was assessed. With reference to the leaf, the internode accounted for as high as 32.64% and 42.56% at 10 DAA and 20 DAA, respectively. Meanwhile, bracts presented a larger contribution than the internode, with superior bracts being higher than inferior bracts. In addition, N topdressing reduced the contribution of the internode and bracts. Our findings clearly proved the actual significance of non-foliar organs of the internode and bracts for rice yield formation, thus extending our basic knowledge of source and sink relations.

KeywordsJaponica rice; Carbon isotope composition (δ13C); Temporal and spatial variations; Source and sink relation; Grain yield formation
Year of Publication2020
JournalThe Crop Journal
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cj.2020.06.011
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeDesigning Future Wheat (DFW) [ISPG]
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online03 Aug 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Jun 2020
ISSN2214-5141
PublisherElsevier

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