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Responses of Maize Internode to Water Deficit Are Different at the Biochemical and Histological Levels

Abstract : Maize feeding value is strongly linked to plant digestibility. Cell wall composition and structure can partly explain cell wall digestibility variations, and we recently showed that tissue lignification and lignin spatial distribution also contribute to cell wall digestibility variations. Although the genetic determinism of digestibility and cell wall composition has been studied for more than 20 years, little is available concerning that of tissue lignification. Moreover, maize yield is negatively impacted by water deficit, and we newly highlighted the impact of water deficit on cell wall digestibility and composition together with tissue lignification. Consequently, the aim of this study was to explore the genetic mechanisms of lignin distribution in link with cell wall composition and digestibility under contrasted water regimes. Maize internodes from a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population grown in field trials with contrasting irrigation scenarios were biochemically and histologically quantified. Results obtained showed that biochemical and histological traits have different response thresholds to water deficit. Histological profiles were therefore only modified under pronounced water deficit, while most of the biochemical traits responded whatever the strength of the water deficit. Three main clusters of quantitative trait locus (QTL) for histological traits were detected. Interestingly, overlap between the biochemical and histological clusters is rare, and one noted especially colocalizations between histological QTL/clusters and QTL for p -coumaric acid content. These findings reinforce the suspected role of tissue p-coumaroylation for both the agronomic properties of plants as well as their digestibility.
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Contributor : Camille Serva <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 11:26:19 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 4, 2021 - 3:28:10 AM