U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Main content area

Species, ecotype and cultivar differences in spikelet fertility and harvest index of rice in response to high temperature stress

Prasad, P.V.V., Boote, K.J., Allen, L.H. Jr., Sheehy, J.E., Thomas, J.M.G.
Field crops research 2006 v.95 no.2-3 pp. 398
Oryza sativa, Oryza glaberrima, rice, ecotypes, cultivars, genetic variation, inflorescences, plant fertility, harvest index, grain yield, heat stress, heat, air temperature, seed set, provenance, pollen, species differences, Florida
Spikelet fertility (seed-set) is an important component of yield that is sensitive to high temperature. The objectives of this research were (a) to quantify the effects of high temperature on spikelet fertility and harvest index of rice; (b) to determine if there were species, ecotype, and/or cultivar differences in response to high temperature; and (c) to understand the reasons for lower and/or differential spikelet fertility and harvest index of rice cultivars at high temperatures. Fourteen rice cultivars of different species (Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima), ecotypes (indica and japonica) and origin (temperate and tropical) were exposed to ambient and high temperature (ambient + 5 °C) at Gainesville, Florida. High temperature significantly decreased spikelet fertility across all cultivars, but effects varied among cultivars. Based on decreases in spikelet fertility at high temperature, cultivar N-22 was most tolerant, while cultivars L-204, M-202, Labelle, Italica Livorna, WAB-12, CG-14 and CG-17 were highly susceptible and cultivars M-103, S-102, Koshihikari, IR-8 and IR-72 were moderately susceptible to high temperature. There were no clear species or ecotype differences, as some cultivars in each species or within ecotypes of tropical and temperature origin were equally susceptible to high temperature (for example M-202 temperate japonica, Labelle tropical japonica, CG-14 O. glaberrima, and WAB-12 interspecific). Decreased spikelet fertility and cultivar difference at high temperature were due mainly to decreased pollen production and pollen reception (pollen numbers on stigma). Lower spikelet fertility at elevated temperature resulted in fewer filled grains, lower grain weight per panicle, and decreased harvest index. There is a potential for genetic improvement for heat tolerance, thus it is important to screen and identify heat-tolerant cultivars. Spikelet fertility at high temperature can be used as a screening tool for heat tolerance during the reproductive phase.