High canopy photosynthesis before anthesis explains the outstanding yield performance of rice cultivars with ideal plant architecture

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Cheng, Y., Xiao, F., Huang, D., Yang, Y., Cheng, W., Jin, S., Li, G., Ding, Y., Paul, M. J. and Liu, Z. 2023. High canopy photosynthesis before anthesis explains the outstanding yield performance of rice cultivars with ideal plant architecture. Field Crops Research. 306, p. 109223. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2023.109223

AuthorsCheng, Y., Xiao, F., Huang, D., Yang, Y., Cheng, W., Jin, S., Li, G., Ding, Y., Paul, M. J. and Liu, Z.
Abstract

The majority of investigations on mechanisms underlying yield difference between superior and conventional cultivars has focused on the grain-filling stage after anthesis. However, the physiological process before anthesis has been less explored.
Objective:
We aimed to quantify the contribution of canopy photosynthesis at pre-anthesis stage to grain yield
formation and clarify the mechanism underlying the yield advantage of the superior cultivars.
Methods:
This study selected representative cultivars of indica and japonica rice, each type having a pair of cultivars with ideal plant architecture (IPA) and conventional architecture. Field experiments over four years (2019–2022) were conducted to compare the relevance of canopy photosynthesis to yield formation between the phases before and after anthesis.
Results:
The two IPA cultivars, JYZK-6 and ZZY-1, produced higher grain yield than the two conventional cultivars, NJ-5055 and HHZ. JYZK-6 and ZZY-1 also had good distribution of light interception inside the canopy, with the middle and lower part receiving more light than NJ-5055 and HHZ. At leaf level, there was no significant difference in photosynthetic rate between the two types of cultivars. At canopy level, the IPA cultivars had stronger photosynthetic activities before anthesis, outperforming NJ-5055 by 35.56% in averaged canopy
photosynthesis, and by 46.65% in averaged daily net photosynthetic accumulation in 2021–2022. By contrast,
canopy photosynthesis after anthesis was not significantly different between the two types. The IPA cultivars stored heavier biomass in internodes and sheaths before anthesis and remobilized more reserves to the developing grains, with the remobilization rate being 16.42% (internodes) and 35.34% (sheaths) higher than NJ-5055 and HHZ.
Conclusion:
The higher canopy productivity before anthesis is one of the main reasons accounting for the superior IPA cultivars, suggesting the necessity of optimizing plant growth and development during the vegetative and reproductive phases.

KeywordsCanopy photosynthesis ; Ideal plant architecture; Developmental stages; Yield performance
Year of Publication2023
JournalField Crops Research
Journal citation306, p. 109223
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2023.109223
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeDelivering Sustainable Wheat
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Feb 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Dec 2023
ISSN0378-4290
PublisherElsevier

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