Accumulation of soluble carbohydrates plays an important role in enhancement of resistance to freezing and snow mold of plants during cold acclimation. Nevertheless, few studies have examined whether changes in cell wall properties are involved in enhancement of resistance during cold acclimation. In this study, four winter wheat cultivars were sown in a field on six different dates during August-October, and their resistance to freezing and snow mold were compared in relation to soluble carbohydrate content and cell-wall mass in leaves. Resistance to freezing and snow mold was much higher in the plants sown on 23 September than in those sown on 9 September. The percentage of cell-wall mass in leaf to total dry mass (%CW) and water-soluble carbohydrate content also increased considerably during 9-23 September. Multiple regression analyses revealed that %CW contributed significantly to freezing resistance, whereas total water-soluble carbohydrate content contributed significantly to snow mold resistance. These results suggest that increased %CW enhances freezing resistance during cold acclimation.
To study the physio-chemical and microbial properties of green tea waste-rice bran compost (GRC), and feasibility of GRC as the alternative of agrochemicals for quality spinach production, five types of compost were prepared by mixing green tea waste and rice bran. The compost temperature was increased by adding rice bran to the green tea waste. The compost GC made from green tea waste alone contained a relatively large amount of nitrogen (7.55%). On the other hand, the compost RC made from rice bran alone contained a relatively large amount of minerals, such as phosphorus (0.49%), potassium (4.96%) and magnesium (2.28%). Addition of rice bran increased the total number of bacteria, viable bacteria and organic matter decomposing bacteria as well as actinomycetes population in the mature compost. The frequency of organic matter decomposing bacteria in GRC was in the following order: cellulolytic bacteria<pectolytic bacteria<lipolytic bacteria<amilolytic bacteria except RC. The growth of spinach was significantly increased over the untreated control (only soil) when GRC was applied in the field and growth pattern was depended on the nature of the composting materials. The highest fresh weight of 27.5g plant-1 and 45.4g plant-1 were obtained by applying the compost with 30% green tea waste+70% rice bran (GRC-3) under field condition in autumn of 2004 and 2005, respectively. The highest growth enhance effect was also obtained from GRC-3 when three spinach varieties were grown with GRC under greenhouse condition. The amount of nitrate and oxalate in the spinach grown with GRC were ranged from 114.0 to 146.0 mg 100 g-1 and 612.0 to 748.0 mg 100 g-1 fresh weight, respectively. These values were below from the safety standard of health level of nitrate and oxalate for spinach. The amount of ascorbic acid, glutamic acid and iron in the spinach were increased by applying the compost. Among the five combinations of GRC, GRC-3 provided the best results in spinach production.
Non-destructive monitoring and diagnosis of plant nitrogen (N) concentration are of significant importance for precise N management and productivity forecasting in field crops. The present study was conducted to identify the common spectra wavebands and canopy reflectance spectral parameters for indicating leaf nitrogen concentration (LNC, mg N g-1 DW) and to determine quantitative relationships of LNC to canopy reflectance spectra in both rice (Oryza sativa L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Ground-based canopy spectral reflectance and LNC were measured with seven field experiments consisting of seven different wheat cultivars and five different rice cultivars and varied N fertilization levels across three growing seasons for wheat and four growing seasons for rice. All possible ratio vegetation indices (RVI), difference vegetation indices (DVI), and normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI) of key wavebands from the MSR16 radiometer were calculated. The results showed that LNC of wheat and rice increased with increasing N fertilization rates. Canopy reflectance, however, was a more complicated relationship under different N application rates. In the near infrared portion of the spectrum (760-1220 nm), canopy spectral reflectance increased with increasing N supply, whereas in the visible region (460-710 nm), canopy reflectance decreased with increasing N supply. For both rice and wheat, LNC was best estimated at 610, 660 and 680 nm. Among all possible RVI, DVI and NDVI of key bands from the MSR16 radiometer, NDVI(1220, 610) and RVI(1220, 610) were most highly correlated to LNC in both wheat and rice. In addition, the correlations of NDVI(1220, 610) and RVI(1220, 610) to LNC were found to be higher than those of individual wavebands at 610, 660 and 680 nm in both wheat and rice. Thus LNC in both wheat and rice could be indicated with common wavebands and vegetation indices, but separate regression equations are necessary for precisely describing the dynamic change patterns of LNC in wheat and rice. When independent data were fit to the derived equations, the root mean square error (RMSE) values for the predicted LNC with NDVI(1220, 610) and RVI(1220, 610) relative to the observed values were 10.50% and 10.52% in wheat, and 13.04% and 12.61% in rice, respectively, indicating a good fit. These results should improve the knowledge on non-destructive monitoring of leaf N status in cereal crops.
The effect of high temperatures on growth, yield and dry-matter production of rice growing in the paddy field was examined during the whole growth period in a temperature gradient chamber (TGC) from 2002 to 2006. Experimental plots, TG1 (control), TG2, TG3 and TG4, were arranged along the temperature gradient (from low to high temperature) in TGC. The mean and maximum air-temperatures in TG4 were 2.0-3.6°C and 4.0-7.0°C higher, respectively, than those in TG1. The plant height was taller and the maximum tillering stage was earlier in TG2, TG3 and TG4 than in TG1. Plant dry weight at maturity in TG2 and TG3 was 12.8-16.4% heavier than that in TG1. In TG4, the increase in the panicle dry weight during the ripening period was smallest and plant dry weight at maturity was 11-16% heavier than that in TG1. The increase in plant dry-matter during the ripening period was smallest in TG4. The decrease in the dry weight of stem and leaf during the ripening period, which represents the amount of assimilate translocation to the panicle, was also larger in TG2-4 than in TG1. The increase in the dry weight of stem in TG2-4 at maturity was also larger than that in TG1. The photosynthetic rate in TG2-4 was up to 35.6% lower than that in TG1 because of the acceleration of leaf senescence. Brown rice yield in TG4 was 6.6-39.1% lower than that in TG1. This yield decline was due to the decrease in the percentage of ripened grains and increase in the percentage of sterile spikelets. The relation between brown rice yield and mean air-temperature during 20 days after heading showed that the brown rice yield declined when mean air-temperature exceeded 28°C.
The nitrogen-fixing activity of root nodules was examined with reference to the nodule size in peanut. Root nodules of field-grown peanut were collected at flowering through harvesting stages and classified into five groups of size using a circle template. Then acetylene reduction activity was measured to evaluate nitrogen-fixing activity for respective size groups. In addition, the diameter of the cross-section of each root nodule and rhizobium-infected areas on the cross-section were measured. The results showed that the nitrogen-fixing activity of root nodules is closely related with their size. In the root nodules in the medium size group (1.5-2.0 mm in diameter), nitrogen-fixing activity per unit fresh weight of nodule was highest at the flowering stage and rapidly decreased thereafter. The nitrogen-fixing activity of root nodules larger than 2.0 mm in diameter did not vary significantly with their size. Colors of rhizobium-infected zones varied with their size: white in small nodules; red in medium-sized nodules; and greenish in larger nodules, which suggests that the concentration of leghemoglobin is highest in the medium-sized nodules. Nitrogen-fixing activities of the medium-sized nodules might determine the amount of nitrogen fixation in the whole root system during pod-filling because medium-sized nodules had high activity and were large in number. Classification of root-nodule size based on the circle template is a simple, rapid, and useful method to evaluate nitrogen-fixing activity of root nodules.
The objectives of this study were to identify the growth parameters involved in determining the number of spikelets on an individual tiller (ST) and to elucidate how ST is determined in rice (Oryza sativa L.). We examined the correlation of ST with the dry weight (DWT), leaf area (LAT), and the amount of nitrogen (NT) at heading for individual tillers grown under different conditions that were expected to affect spikelet production. In 1999, the japonica rice cultivars “Mineasahi” (short-duration), “Hinohikari” (intermediate-duration), and “Akebono” (long-duration) were transplanted in a paddy field on two different dates (EARLY and LATE). In 2000, Hinohikari was grown under three different treatments (gibberellic acid application, nitrogen topdressing, and thinning of hills at panicle initiation) and without treatment (control). Covariance and partial correlation analyses indicated that ST was positively and essentially correlated with DWT rather than with LAT and NT. The regression of ST on DWT was stable within each cultivar regardless of the treatment, year, tiller order, and number of differentiated spikelets. The slope of the regression was the steepest in the short-duration cultivar. These results suggest that the steep slope is desirable for high-yielding cultivars with large panicles. We conclude that ST is mostly determined by dry matter production of an individual tiller regardless of the number of differentiated spikelets. We present a diagram showing the relationship between dry matter production and the number of differentiated, surviving, and degenerated spikelets on an individual tiller.
Rice cultivars with numerous spikelets per panicle (extra-heavy panicle types) frequently fail to exhibit their high yield potential due to low grain filling. Existing genetic variation in grain filling, however, opens possibilities for genetic improvement for this trait. We studied the correlation between grain filling and the activities of enzymes for sucrose-starch conversion in developing endosperm. The activity of sucrose synthase (EC 184.108.40.206, SuSy) and ADPglucose pyrophosphorylase (EC 220.127.116.11, AGPase), were measured in three extra-heavy panicle types and a standard cultivar grown at two locations under different environmental conditions. The proportions of grains with definite specific gravities and the rate of grain filling were adopted as the parameters related to grain filling. AGPase activity, but not that of SuSy, was consistently correlated to high proportions of high-density grains (specific gravity>1.20) and high rates of grain growth in spikelets, particularly in those on secondary branches in which low grain filling is the rule. Such correlation was also detected in spikelets on primary branches which generally show better grain filling, but only early stages. Therefore, a high activity of AGPase might contribute to the reduction of the sucrose concentration by accelerating sucrose metabolism at the developing seed, a sink terminus of the phloem. Thus the sink-directed phloem transport of sucrose would be promoted, resulting in improved grain filling of extra-heavy panicle types. SuSy would play some roles in such a cultivar difference in grain filling, but depending on environments.
Soil compaction often creates combined physical stresses of drought, anaerobiosis, and mechanical impedance in field soil. This paper aims to analyze the effect of combined and independent soil physical stresses on crop root growth to find out the species-specific response to the physical stresses, which has not been reported before. Drying stress without the increase of mechanical impedance was evaluated in a very loose pot soil environment. This drying stress did not modify the root elongation rates of rice and pea by the 48 h exposure to the stress environment. For maize and cotton, however, mild drying stress (-80 kPa Ψw) enhanced root elongation by 17-18%, but severe drying stress (-900 kPa Ψw) reduced it by 17-21% as compared with the control environment (-10 kPa Ψw). The combined stress of drying and mechanical impedance nearly stopped the root elongation in all the species, while that of anaerobiosis and mechanical impedance did not stop the elongation of rice and cotton; cotton elongated about 32% of control environment. In maize, root diameter was reduced by the severe drying stress due to the reduction in the number of cortical cell layer and diameters of both central cylinder and xylem vessel. In contrast, cotton showed a significant increment of cortex diameter, although overall diameter was not statistically increased by the severe drying stress. The ability of cotton to continue elongation under anaerobiosis and mechanical stress implied the higher penetration ability to the hard pan layer under the anaerobic condition just after the heavy rainfall.
Delayed stem senescence (DSS) after pod maturation in soybean (Glycine max) lowers the quality of products in the mechanized harvest. The effects of drought and excess wet soil conditions on the occurrence of DSS were studied with special reference to remobilization of vegetative nitrogen and supply of cytokinin via xylem. Excess wet soil treatment was applied throughout the reproductive period to field-grown soybean in 2003 (Exp.1) and short-term drought stress treatment was applied during the reproductive period to pot-grown soybean plants in 2004 (Exp.2). The degree of DSS at pod maturing was evaluated by the DSS score from “1” for severe DSS to “5” for completely synchronous senescence of pods and vegetative parts. The DSS score in Exp.1 varied from 2.2 to 2.5 and that in Exp.2 from 2.8 to 3.7. Excess wet soil treatment in Exp.1 promoted the occurrence of DSS, while drought stress treatments during the periods of flowering to pod elongation, later seed-filling and seed maturing decreased it. The soybean plants that showed distinct DSS had lower ratios of seed number to vegetative dry weight at seed maturity and a lower rate of nitrogen remobilization from vegetative organs to seeds during the latter half of the reproductive period. The trans-zeatin riboside (t-ZR) level in xylem exudate tended to be higher in soybeans with severer DSS than in those normally matured in both experiments showing increased t-ZR concentration and/or higher exudation rate. These results suggest that DSS can be caused by a wet soil water condition, which lowers pod/seed number and increases vegetative organs mediated by the increased supply of cytokinin through xylem during seed-filling.
Improvement of early seedling growth, such as seedling emergence and vigor is one of the most important agronomic traits in direct seeding rice cultivation. The effects of two plant growth regulators (PGRs), gibberellic acid (GA3) and ethephon (ET), on seedling growth under flooded soil conditions at different temperatures and water depths were investigated. The PGRs were applied during the seed soaking process. A single treatment with GA3 or ET increased seedling growth. However, combined application of GA3 and ET was more effective than that of GA3 or ET alone in many cases at both growing temperatures (15 and 20°C). The growth of different organs in the rice seedlings, such as the coleoptiles, first leaves, and second leaves was also increased by PGR treatment. The nitrogen concentration of the shoot and the ratio of shoot dry weight to shoot length did not differ significantly among the treatments. The results of our study show that rice seedling growth in direct seeding cultivation may be improved by treatment with GA3 and ET in combination.
This study was designed to determine the effects of the hardness distribution and the endosperm structure on the polishing characteristics of brewer’s rice kernels. We used four brewer’s rice cultivars, Kairyo-omachi, Hattan-nishiki No. 1, Senbon-nishiki and Yamada-nishiki. The broken kernel ratios in Kairyo-omachi and Hattan-nishiki No. 1 were significantly higher than those in Senbon-nishiki and Yamada-nishiki. Vickers hardness (VH) values in white-core tissues in kernels differed among varieties, which were significantly lower in Kairyo-omachi and Hattan-nishiki No. 1. However, no varietal differences were observed in VH values in the peripheral translucent tissues surrounding the white-core tissues. The tissues along the dorsoventral axis were softer than those along the longitudinal axis of the kernels. The tissues on the ventral side were softer than those on the dorsal side. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations revealed the presence of closely arranged compound starch granules and few varietal differences in the peripheral translucent tissues surrounding the white-core tissues. However, as compared with Yamada-nishiki and Senbon-nishiki, in Hattan-nishiki No. 1 and Kairyo-omachi, the starch granules were loosely packed and the airspaces between the starch granules were more numerous in the white-core tissues. A higher number of airspaces and less starch were present in the endosperm cells along the dorsoventral axis when compared with along the longitudinal axis and on the ventral side than on the dorsal side. The present study showed that polishing characteristics are closely related with the endosperm structure, which is characterized as the density of starch granules.
Environmental resources for rainfed rice production show large variability even within a small area in Northeast Thailand, and it is said that farmer’s management is well adapted to the variability. This study evaluated transplanting date and nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate in the management to improve rice productivity. The effect of transplanting date and N fertilizer rate on rice productivity was analyzed by investigating rice growth, and also by dividing rainfed rice fields located in a mini-watershed into 4 subecosystems: (1) medium deep water, waterlogged (MDW), (2) shallow water, favorable (SWf), (3) shallow water, drought- and submergence-prone (SWds), and (4) shallow water, drought-prone (SWd). Rice grew at almost a constant rate until maturity and the growth rate was higher at a lower field. The difference in productivity was derived from not only a water condition but also soil fertility, and was associated with the rate of N uptake. Small leaf area index was found to be one of the causes for low productivity in rice. Statistic analysis showed that earlier transplanting increased biomass production in all subecosystems. The biomass-increase resulted in a higher yield in SWds and SWd fields while it resulted in a reduced harvest index (HI) and did not increase yield in MDW and SWf fields. The effect of N fertilizer was apparent in the field where rice biomass was small due to later transplanting or unfertile soil, but the effect was generally small. Earlier transplanting in upper fields and later transplanting in lower fields in mini-watersheds were suggested to improve rice production, and proper distribution of N fertilizer use is considered necessary.