Plant Production Science
Online ISSN : 1349-1008
Print ISSN : 1343-943X
Effects of Flag Leaves and Panicles on Light Interception and Canopy Photosynthesis in High-Yielding Rice Cultivars
Kuniyuki SaitohKouichiro YonetaniToshiaki MurotaToshiro Kuroda
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2002 Volume 5 Issue 4 Pages 275-280


The effects of flag leaves and panicles on canopy photosynthesis in a leading cultivar (Nipponbare) and two high-yielding rice cultivars (Takanari and Chugoku 117) bred in Japan were compared. The total dry matter production was in the order of Takanari > Chugoku 117 > Nipponbare. Canopy photosynthesis was highest in Takanari throughout the growth season, and was higher in Chugoku 117 than in Nipponbare during the ripening period. The photosynthetic rate in the flag leaf was in the order of Nipponbare > Takanari > Chugoku 117. The light extinction coefficient of canopy was higher in Takanari than in the others. At the middle ripening stage, canopy photosynthesis increased 35 and 17% in Nipponbare and Takanari, respectively, by the removal of panicles and decreased 37 and 48%, respectively, by the removal of flag leaves. In Chugoku 117, canopy photosynthesis was hardly influenced by these treatments. Clearly, the panicles intercept more radiation at the upper layer of the canopy in Nipponbare than in Takanari and flag leaves contribute more to canopy photosynthesis in Takanari than in Nipponbare. However, these effects were small in Chugoku 117. In conclusion, Takanari produces more dry matter than the others due to larger, wider, longer and more erect 1st (flag) and 2nd leaves above the panicles, which intercept more radiation. Chugoku 117 had erect panicles which allowed more radiation to penetrate into the deeper layer of the canopy, resulting in a high dry matter production. The lower panicle height relative to leaf layer and erect panicles are important characteristics for higher yield in rice.

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