2014 Volume 17 Issue 3 Pages 245-252
Rice florets are susceptible to high-temperature damage at anthesis, but rice production remains stable in the Riverina region of Australia even when the air temperature during flowering exceeds 40ºC. To identify the mechanism that supports rice production under these conditions, we examined sterility and pollination in relation to microclimate and panicle temperature in an extremely hot paddy field in the Riverina region of New South Wales. In windy > 40ºC weather, the panicle temperature was > 38ºC at the windward edge of the crop but around 35ºC inside the crop, probably because of strong transpirational cooling due to the extremely dry wind (15% RH). Pollen from the windward edge of the crop showed extremely poor germination, yet that from inside the crop showed sufficient germination for fertilization. Moreover, sterility inside the crop was significantly lower than that at windward edge. We concluded that the wind with large vapor pressure deficit enabled stable rice production under the extreme heat during flowering.
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