Post-anthesis alternate wetting and moderate soil drying enhances activities of key enzymes in sucrose-to-starch conversion in inferior spikelets of rice

Hao Zhang, Hongwei Li, Liming Yuan, Zhiqin Wang, Jianchang Yang*, Jianhua ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study tested the hypothesis that a post-anthesis moderate soil drying can improve grain filling through regulating the key enzymes in the sucrose-to-starch pathway in the grains of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Two rice cultivars were field grown and two irrigation regimes, alternate wetting and moderate soil drying (WMD) and conventional irrigation (CI, continuously flooded), were imposed during the grain-filling period. The grain-filling rate and activities of four key enzymes in sucrose-to-starch conversion, sucrose synthase (SuSase), adenosine diphosphate-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase), starch synthase (StSase), and starch branching enzyme (SBE), showed no significant difference between WMD and CI regimes for the earlier flowering superior spikelets. However, they were significantly enhanced by the WMD for the later flowering inferior spikelets. The activities of both soluble and insoluble acid invertase in the grains were little affected by the WMD. The two cultivars showed the same tendencies. The activities of SuSase, AGPase, StSase, and SBE in grains were very significantly correlated with the grain-filling rate. The abscisic acid (ABA) concentration in inferior spikelets was remarkably increased in the WMD and very significantly correlated with activities of SuSase, AGPase, StSase, and SBE. Application of ABA on plants under CI produced similar results to those seen in plants receiving WMD. Applying fluridone, an indirect inhibitor of ABA synthesis, produced the opposite effect. The results suggest that post-anthesis WMD could enhance sink strength by regulating the key enzymes involved, and consequently, increase the grain-filling rate and grain weight of inferior spikelets. ABA plays an important role in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-227
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Volume63
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Abscisic acid (ABA)
  • adenosine diphosphate-glucose pyrophosphorylase
  • alternate wetting and moderate soil drying
  • grain filling
  • inferior spikelets
  • rice (Oryza sativa)
  • sink strength
  • superior spikelets

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