Delayed development of basal spikelets in wheat explains their increased floret abortion and rudimentary nature

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Backhaus, A. E., Griffiths, C. A., Vergara-Cruces, A., Simmonds, J., Lee, R., Morris, R. J. and Uauy, C. 2023. Delayed development of basal spikelets in wheat explains their increased floret abortion and rudimentary nature. Journal of Experimental Botany. 74 (17), pp. 5088-5103. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erad233

AuthorsBackhaus, A. E., Griffiths, C. A., Vergara-Cruces, A., Simmonds, J., Lee, R., Morris, R. J. and Uauy, C.
Abstract

Large differences exist in the number of grains per spikelet across an individual wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) spike. The central spikelets produce the highest number of grains, while apical and basal spikelets are less productive, and the most basal spikelets are commonly only developed in rudimentary form. Basal spikelets are delayed in initiation, yet they continue to develop and produce florets. The precise timing or the cause of their abortion remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the underlying causes of basal spikelet abortion using shading applications in the field. We found that basal spikelet abortion is likely to be the consequence of complete floret abortion, as both occur concurrently and have the same response to shading treatments. We detected no differences in assimilate availability across the spike. Instead, we show that the reduced developmental age of basal florets pre-anthesis is strongly associated with their increased abortion. Using the developmental age pre-abortion, we were able to predict final grain set per spikelet across the spike, alongside the characteristic gradient in the number of grains from basal to central spikelets. Future efforts to improve spikelet homogeneity across the spike could thus focus on improving basal spikelet establishment and increasing floret development rates pre-abortion.

KeywordsBasal spikelets; Floret abortion; Grain set; Rudimentary ; Shading; Spiklet fertility; Wheat
Year of Publication2023
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Journal citation74 (17), pp. 5088-5103
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erad233
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology through Action
Funder project or codeBB/S016945/1
Designing Future Wheat (DFW) [ISPG]
BB/P013511/1
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online20 Jun 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted15 Jun 2023
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
ISSN0022-0957

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/98xq3/delayed-development-of-basal-spikelets-in-wheat-explains-their-increased-floret-abortion-and-rudimentary-nature

31 total views
137 total downloads
1 views this month
2 downloads this month
Download files as zip