2014 Volume 17 Issue 4 Pages 291-297
Seed shattering is an important agronomic trait in rice as it directly affects the yield. Manipulation of the degree of shattering will maximize the yield potential. This study was performed to find an indicator for indirect selection to facilitate the selection of medium-shattering habit in japonica rice breeding. The grain shattering pattern and microscopic morphology of the separation zone on pedicels of five japonica rice cultivars with different shattering habits were compared. Almost all grains were separated between the sterile lemma and rudimentary glume in cultivars with medium-shattering, easily-shattering and very easily-shattering habits. On the other hand, approximately 50% of the grains of the cultivar with hardly-shattering habit were torn off at the bent portion of pedicel. A separation pileus was formed on the terminal of the pedicel. The pileuses were most prominent in cultivars with easily-shattering and very easily-shattering habits, while cultivars with a medium-shattering habit had more flat pileuses than prominent pileuses. Additionally, in the cultivar with a hardly-shattering habit all pileuses were flat. Development of fibrous cell walls on the separation pileus varied with degree of shattering habit. The easier the grain shattered, the poorer was the development of fibrous cell walls. These results strongly suggest that the shape of separation pileus and the development of fibrous cell walls are related to the shattering habit in japonica rice. Additionally, it is highly probable that the medium-shattering habit is characterized by the type of shattering that separates between sterile lemma and rudimentary glume with the flat shape of pileus.
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