Main content area

Enclosed stigma contributes to higher spikelet fertility for rice (Oryza sativa L.) subjected to heat stress

Wu, Chao, Cui, Kehui, Hu, Qiuqian, Wang, Wencheng, Nie, Lixiao, Huang, Jianliang, Peng, Shaobing
The crop journal 2019 v.7 no.3 pp. 335-349
Oryza sativa, cultivars, dehiscence, females, flowering, global warming, grain yield, heat stress, heat tolerance, panicles, pollen, reproductive success, rice, spikelets, stigma, temperature, thermosensitivity, viability
With global warming, rice plants may be subjected to heat stress more regularly during the heat-sensitive flowering stage, causing spikelet sterility and grain yield loss. Stigma exsertion is considered to increase pollen reception and promote female reproductive success. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of stigma exsertion on spikelet fertility at high temperatures. Five rice cultivars (Liangyoupeijiu, Shanyou 63, Huanghuazhan, Nagina 22, and IR64) with differing degrees of stigma exsertion were cultivated and exposed to high temperature at anthesis. Heat-tolerant cultivars did not always show a high percentage of spikelets with exserted stigmas, and vice versa. Irrespective of the presence of more pollen grains on exserted stigmas, spikelets with exserted stigmas did not show greater spikelet fertility than spikelets with fewer exserted stigmas or hidden stigmas under heat stress. GA3 application augmented the percentage of spikelets with exserted stigmas; however, it did not increase spikelet fertility under heat stress. Spikelet fertility of whole panicles was negatively correlated with the percentage of spikelets with exserted stigmas, but positively with that with hidden stigmas. Viability of the hidden stigmas was less reduced than that of exserted stigmas under heat stress, suggesting that hidden stigmas have an advantage in maintaining viability. Heat stress delayed anther dehiscence and reduced the viabilities of both exserted stigmas and pollens, thereby causing low spikelet fertility. Together, these results suggest that high spikelet fertility does not depend on stigma exsertion and that enclosed stigma generally contributes to higher spikelet fertility and heat tolerance under high-temperature conditions during flowering in rice.