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Rice-duck co-culture benefits grain 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline accumulation and quality and yield enhancement of fragrant rice

Li, Meijuan, Li, Ronghua, Liu, Shiwei, Zhang, Jia'en, Luo, Hao, Qiu, Shuqing
The crop journal 2019 v.7 no.4 pp. 419-430
biosynthesis, carboxylic acids, coculture, crop production, cultivars, ducks, environmental sustainability, enzyme activity, grain quality, growing season, integrated agricultural systems, odors, ornithine-oxo-acid transaminase, paddies, photosynthesis, proline, rice, China
Rice-duck co-culture is an integrated farming technology that benefits rice production, grain quality, and ecological sustainability in paddy fields. However, little is known about the effects of rice-duck co-culture on enzyme activity involved in the biosynthesis of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2-AP), the volatile that gives fragrant rice its' distinctive and sought-after aroma. The present study aimed to examine the influence of rice-duck co-culture on the photosynthesis, yield, grain quality, rice aroma, and the enzymes involved in 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline biosynthesis in the cultivar Meixiangzhan 2 during the early and late rice growing seasons of 2016 in Guangzhou, China. We compared the rice grown in paddy fields with and without ducks. We found that rice-duck co-culture not only improved the yield and quality of fragrant rice grain, but also promoted the precursors of 2-AP biosynthesis formation and 2-AP accumulation in the grain. Grain 2-AP content in rice-duck co-culture was noticeably increased with 9.60% and 20.81% in early and late seasons, respectively. Proline and pyrroline-5-carboxylic acid (P5C) (precursors of 2-AP biosynthesis) and the activity of enzymes such as proline dehydrogenase (ProDH), ornithine aminotransferase (OAT) and Δ1 pyrroline-5-carboxylic acid synthetase (P5CS) were all improved by 10.15%–12.99%, 32.91%–47.75%, 17.81%–26.71%, 6.25%–21.78%, and 10.58%–38.87% under rice-duck co-culture in both seasons, respectively. Overall, our results suggest that rice-duck co-culture is an environmentally-friendly and sustainable approach to improving rice aroma and grain quality of fragrant rice.