Slow export of photoassimilate from stay-green leaves during late grain-filling stage in hybrid winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Y. H. Gong, Jianhua ZHANG*, J. F. Gao, J. Y. Lu, J. R. Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Hybrid winter wheat (cv. XN901) shows a strong hybrid vigor in terms of yield potential and its leaves and stems stay green when its kernels reach maturity. Much of its pre-stored carbon reserve is left unused in its stems and leaves. In this study, photosynthesis and translocation of carbon assimilates of the hybrid wheat were investigated at its late grain-filling stage. Feeding labelled 14CO2 to flag leaves of XN901 showed that its export to grains was much slower than that of an ordinary cultivar (Shaan 229) that is currently used in production. Within 24 h of labelling, Shaan 229 and XN901 exported 59 % and 40 %, respectively, of the 14C from their flag leaves. At the sink side, 52.1 % of the fed 14C in Shaan 229 was exported to its grains within the first 24 h while XN901 deposited only 15.8 % of the fed 14C in the grains at the same period. Photosynthetic rates and chlorophyll contents in the flag leaves declined much more slowly in XN901 than in Shaan 229 during the late grain-filling stage. Hybrid wheat XN901 also had a longer grain-filling period (6 days longer), higher grain yield (15 % more), but lower harvest index (19 % less) than Shaan 229. Its grain-filling rate was lower but declined more slowly at the late grain-filling stage than that of Shaan 229. Results indicate that the strong hybrid vigour of XN901 leads to an unfavourably delayed senescence which results in the much unused carbon reserve in its straws. Raising harvest index should be the key aim to materialize its yield potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-299
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agronomy and Crop Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Carbon remobilization
  • Carbon translocation
  • Grain-filling
  • Hybrid winter wheat
  • Photosynthesis
  • Stay-green


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