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Different grain-filling rates explain grain-weight differences along the wheat ear

Abstract : Thousand grain weight is one of the components determining wheat grain yield. It represents the average value of individual grain weights which depends on position within the ear and on positon within the spikelet. Our objective was to quantify the influences of individual floret anthesis date, of carpel weight at anthesis and of rate and duration of grain filling, on variation in individual final grain weight. Two bread wheat cultivars were grown in a greenhouse and their ears were sampled from anthesis through to harvest. Each ear was divided into three parts-basal, central and apical-where the two proximal grains were dissected from each of two spikelets. We analysed (i) the flowering time shift within the ear and within the spikelet; and (ii) the growth kinetics during grain filling in relation to position along the ear. For both cultivars, florets located in the central part of the ear were the first to reach anthesis followed by those in the apical part and then the basal part. Within a spikelet, the floret located nearest the rachis flowered first followed by the more distal ones. We found no significant systematic effect of flowering time-shift on final grain weight. Nevertheless, grains in the central part were heavier than the basal ones (9.75% smaller) and than the apical ones (18.25% smaller). These differences were explained mainly by differences in mean grain filling rates. Analysis of growth kinetics enabled an improved explanation of the variability of individual grain weight along the ear.
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Nadège Baillot, Christine Girousse, Vincent Allard, Agnés Piquet Pissaloux, Jacques Le Gouis. Different grain-filling rates explain grain-weight differences along the wheat ear. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2018, 13 (12), pp.1-9. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0209597⟩. ⟨hal-02621305⟩



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