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Ann Bot. 2002 Oct;90(4):469-76.

Interaction between drought and chronic high temperature during kernel filling in wheat in a controlled environment.

Author information

  • CSIRO Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia. ian.wardlaw@anu.edu.au

Abstract

Wheat plants (Triticum aestivum L. 'Lyallpur'), limited to a single culm, were grown at day/night temperatures of either 18/13 degrees C (moderate temperature), or 27/22 degrees C (chronic high temperature) from the time of anthesis. Plants were either non-droughted or subjected to two post-anthesis water stresses by withholding water from plants grown in different volumes of potting mix. In selected plants the demand for assimilates by the ear was reduced by removal of all but the five central spikelets. In non-droughted plants, it was confirmed that shading following anthesis (source limitation) reduced kernel dry weight at maturity, with a compensating increase in the dry weight of the remaining kernels when the total number of kernels was reduced (small sink). Reducing kernel number did not alter the effect of high temperature following anthesis on the dry weight of the remaining kernels at maturity, but reducing the number of kernels did result in a greater dry weight of the remaining kernels of droughted plants. However, the relationship between the response to drought and kernel number was confounded by a reduction in the extent of water stress associated with kernel removal. Data on the effect of water stress on kernel dry weight at maturity of plants with either the full complement or reduced numbers of kernels, and subjected to low and high temperatures following anthesis, indicate that the effect of drought on kernel dry weight may be reduced, in both absolute and relative terms, rather than enhanced, at high temperature. It is suggested that where high temperature and drought occur concurrently after anthesis there may be a degree of drought escape associated with chronic high temperature due to the reduction in the duration of kernel filling, even though the rate of water use may be enhanced by high temperature.

PMID:
12324270
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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