2011 Volume 14 Issue 2 Pages 118-127
The whole-leaf photosynthetic rate in rice plants is controlled by various physiological processes. In a high-yielding indica rice variety, Habataki, the leaf photosynthetic rate (LPR) of the uppermost fully expanded leaves was approximately 130 to 140% of that in a japonica variety, Sasanishiki, from booting to the early ripening stage. We characterized the difference in the LPR between Habataki and Sasanishiki. Leaves of Habataki contained higher levels of nitrogen and, as a consequence, of Rubisco, and had higher stomatal conductance that was associated with higher hydraulic conductance from roots to leaves than those of Sasanishiki. These features were responsible for the higher LPR of Habataki. An analysis of chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) in which chromosome segments from Habataki were substituted into the genetic background of Sasanishiki showed that three genetic regions on chromosomes 4, 5 and 11 were responsible for the increase in the LPR. Each of these regions was estimated to increase the LPR by 15 to 30%, and we showed that they were associated with higher activity of mesophyll photosynthesis due to higher leaf nitrogen content and greater stomatal conductance. Leaf nitrogen content and stomatal conductance may be useful parameters for further quantitative trait locus analysis of efficient photosynthesis in leaves.
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