Involvement of polyamines in the post-anthesis development of inferior and superior spikelets in rice

Jianchang Yang, Cao Yunying, Hao Zhang, Lijun Liu, Jianhua ZHANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Early-flowered superior spikelets usually exhibit a faster grain filling rate and heavier grain weight than late-flowered inferior spikelets in rice (Oryza sativa L.). But the intrinsic factors responsible for the variations between the two types of spikelets are unclear. This study investigated whether and how polyamines (PAs) are involved in regulating post-anthesis development of rice spikelets. Six rice genotypes differing in grain filling rate were field grown, and PA levels and activities of the enzymes involved in PA biosynthesis were measured in both superior and inferior spikelets. The results showed that superior spikelets exhibited higher levels of free spermidine (Spd) and free spermine (Spm) and higher activities of arginine decarboxylase (ADC, EC, S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (SAMDC, EC and Spd synthase (EC than inferior spikelets at the early endosperm cell division and grain filling stage. The maximum concentrations of free Spd and free Spm and the maximum activities of ADC, SAMDC and Spd synthase were significantly correlated with the maximum cell division and grain filling rates, maximum cell number and grain weight. Application of Spd and Spm to panicles resulted in significantly higher rates of endosperm cell division and grain filling in inferior spikelets along with the activities of sucrose synthase (EC, ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase (EC and soluble starch synthase (EC, suggesting that these PAs are involved in the sucrose-starch metabolic pathway. The results indicate that the poor development of inferior spikelets is attributed, at least partly, to the low PA level and its low biosynthetic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Endosperm cell
  • Grain filling
  • Inferior spikelets
  • Oryza (rice)
  • Polyamines
  • Superior spikelets


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