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Temperature variation caused by sowing dates significantly affects floral initiation and floral bud differentiation processes in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.)

Luo, Tao, Zhang, Jing, Khan, Mohammad Nauman, Liu, Jiahuan, Xu, Zhenghua, Hu, Liyong
Plant science 2018 v.271 pp. 40-51
Brassica napus, apical meristems, branches, buds, cold treatment, crop yield, equations, flowering, genotype, growing season, heat sums, leaf primordia, models, photoperiod, racemes, rapeseed, sowing date, temperature, vegetative growth, vernalization
To understand the influence of temperature on floral initiation and to reveal the relationship between floral bud development and yield potential of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.), early- (“1358”), intermediate- (“Zhongshuang No.11”) and late- (“Zheshuang No.8”) maturity genotypes were sown on different sowing dates under field conditions during four crop seasons. A multiplicative model was introduced to distinguish and quantify the effects of photoperiod and temperature on pre-floral initiation phase. Parameters in this model showed that early-maturity genotype was more sensitive to photoperiod; while late-maturity genotype was more sensitive to vernalization. The relationships between cumulative temperature and mean temperature of pre-floral initiation phase could be well descried by exponential equation. The developmental rate of pre-floral initiation phase against mean daily temperature displayed an asymmetrical distribution, and it decreased rapidly when the mean temperature exceeded the optimum. Leaf primordia differentiated from the shoot apical meristem showed significant linear relationship with the thermal time at pre-floral initiation phase; dynamic change of floral bud differentiated from the shoot apical meristem robustly fitted to a sigmoidal logistic curve. According to the fitted logistic equation, the maximum differentiation rate varied from 1.7 to 4.1 per 10 °Cd due to different sowing dates and genotypes. Averaged across growing seasons, sowing dates and genotypes, bud degeneration rate was 33% on the main raceme, and varied from 58% to 99% on the seven primary branches. The yield showed a significant correlation with floral bud number although the latter showed serious degeneration. In conclusion, the floral bud quantity largely determines rapeseed yield, and thus the genotypes with strong vernalization requirement should be planted early to extend the vegetative stage to achieve more fertile floral buds while the genotypes with weak vernalization requirement should be planted late to avoid flowering in chilling environment.