In a rice panicle, the superior spikelets display higher growth rates than the inferior spikelets during the initial phase of grain-filling. To better understand the regulatory mechanism of this phenomenon, we examined the dynamics of endogenous abscisic-acid (ABA) levels and the effects of shading on the dynamics during the grain-filling period in superior and inferior spikelets. While ABA content in the superior spikelets increased rapidly after flowering, that in the inferior spikelets increased slowly and reached the maximum later than in the superior spikelets. Shading significantly exaggerated the inherently different ABA dynamics between the superior and inferior spikelets. We concluded that ABA levels are correlated with the dry matter accumulation patterns of spikelets. These results support our hypothesis that ABA is involved in assimilate partitioning among spikelets in a panicle during the initial phase of grain-filling of rice.
Chlorophyll meter (SPAD) is a convenient tool to estimate leaf nitrogen (N) concentration of rice plants. There is no information on the effects of leaf phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentration on SPAD readings and on the relationship between SPAD values and leaf N concentration in the literature. In 1996 dry season, cv IR72 was grown at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) under various N, P and K fertilizer combinations. SPAD measurements were made on the topmost fully expanded leaves at mid-tillering and panicle initiation. The leaves were then detached, dried and analyzed for N, P and K. The SPAD values were highly correlated with leaf N concentration (r=0.93 to 0.96). Fertilizer-K application did not affect SPAD values, leaf N concentration, or the relationship between the two. Phosphorus deficiency reduced leaf N concentration at mid-tillering, but increased leaf N concentration at panicle initiation when the same amount of N was applied. The SPAD values were 1 to 2 units greater for zero-P plants than P-treated plants at a given leaf N concentration at mid-tillering. At panicle initiation, the relationship between SPAD values and leaf N concentration was not significantly affected by leaf P status. These results suggest that a different regression equation between SPAD values and leaf N concentration should be used to estimate leaf N concentration of P-deficient and P-sufficient rice leaves at vegetative stage using a SPAD.
Spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is cultivated in the northern part of Japan. Although the vigorous early growth of spring wheat is desirable, the rapid and uniform emergence of seedlings is reduced by adverse environmental effects, such as excessive soil moisture and low temperature. Analyses of correlations between field emergence day and germination traits under low temperature, after treatment with polyethelene glycol (PEG) and after flooding treatment of 44 varieties from Japan and other countries indicated a general absence of interrelationships. Moreover, there was no significant correlation between field emergence days in trials in 1996 and 1997. Small and large seeds of Haruyutaka harvested in 1994 and 1996 were hand-sown at depths of 3 cm and 10 cm without fertilizer and with standard fertilizer in brown forest soil in a field of the Tokyo University of Agriculture in Hokkaido. The superiority of large seeds over small seeds was demonstrated by the production of more shoot dry matter with sowing at a depth of 3 cm and by the number of emerged plants with sowing at a depth of 10 cm. Although the coefficients of correlation between field emergence day and germination traits of the wheat varieties were low, a sowing method that optimized seedling growth in the field was demonstrated in this experiment.
Capitulum of Artemisia capillaris is used as a crude drug in the Kampo medicines. Ten accessions of A. capillaris collected from various locations in Japan were examined for their flowering date, shoot growth and contents of choleretic substances i.e. capillarisin (CAP) and 6, 7-dimethylesculetin (DME), to select the important characters for capitulum yield and quality, and to characterize each accession. The experiment was conducted at the Tsukuba Medicinal Plant Research Station, Ibaraki, Japan. Accessions collected from higher latitude flowered earlier than those from lower latitude. Accordingly, dry weights of capitula, stems plus leaves and whole shoot in the accessions collected from higher latitudes were lower than those collected from lower latitudes. Larger shoot biomass, the consequence of longer vegetative growth period, was found to be important for higher capitula yield. Shoot length and contents of CAP and DME were not related with flowering date and the latitude of habitats. The results of principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that each accession from various locations was characterized by shoot length, shoot biomass and contents of CAP and DME and that the intra-accessional variations of shoot growth and contents of CAP and DME in the accessions collected from lower latitudes were greater than those from higher latitudes. Based on the results of PCA, the ten accessions were grouped into four types.
Root zone temperature (RZT) is an important factor that affects the establishment of crops in the field. This study was conducted to determine the effect of high RZT on the root system development of cassava and sweetpotato and to assess the response of each root system component of cassava and sweetpotato to high RZTs. Cassava and sweetpotato are widely grown crops in soils that are prone to reach a high temperature especially during the dry season. The plant root system was the primary object of investigation in this study. Cassava and sweetpotato cuttings were grown in pots for 20 days in a growth chamber where two different soil temperature regimes were maintained : 40°C (high RZT) and 25°C (normal). High RZT significantly decreased the total length of the adventitious roots (ARs) and the number and total length of the first order lateral roots (LRs) in both cassava and sweetpotato. Reduction in these root growth parameters was greater in the latter than in the former. High RZT caused a marked increase in the number of the second order LRs in sweetpotato and tended to enhance the formation of the third order LRs. Under high RZT, in cassava, a higher proportion of the total number of ARs and the first order LRs, and thus, a greater fraction of the total root length came from the lower nodes of the cuttings that were buried deep in the soil at planting. In sweetpotato, a greater proportion of the total number and total length of the ARs and the first order LRs was observed in the nodes of the cuttings that were buried closer to the soil surface than those buried deeper. An opposite trend was evident in both cassava and sweetpotato grown under a normal RZT. In the screenhouse experiment where plants were grown for 12 days, root growth of cassava was significantly reduced by the high RZT that prevailed when the soil was not covered with mulch materials. The root development in the mulched soil was similar to that under normal RZT in the growth chamber.
Five rice genotypes including 4 breeding lines (lines 36 and 42 from the cross of Aoinokaze//Lemont/Hinohikari and 53 and 76 from Yumehikari//Lemont/Hinohikari) and a reference cultivar, Hinohikari, were grown under various environmental conditions (year, location, plant density and nitrogen level) to determine the genotype-environment interactions for yield, yield components and yield adaptability in water direct-seeded culture. No genotype-year interactions were found in yield or yield components, i.e., the ranking of the genotypes did not change across the years. The interactions of genotype with plant density and nitrogen level were significant only in the percentage of filled grains, indicating that the ranking of rice genotypes for yield traits except the percentage of filled grains remained constant across plant densities and nitrogen levels. There were significant differences in the ranking in grain yield of genotypes between the plants cultivated in Fukuoka and Chikushino. However, line 42 was ranked the highest at both locations. The adaptability to environmental conditions evaluated by a regression method varied with the genotype and line 42 which showed high average yield and higher yield in high-yielding conditions was selected to be suitable for direct-seeded culture.
Tillering plays an important role in determining rice grain yield. Several models have been developed to predict tiller production in irrigated rice. In this paper we tested three models using data drawn from a wide range of plant densities and N inputs in two field experiments conducted at the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines during the 1997 and 1998 dry seasons. Two rice cultivars (IR64 and IR72) were used in the experiments. Plant samples were taken at intervals to determine number of tillers, leaf area index (LAI), biomass, relative growth rate (RGR) and leaf N concentration. The models were parameterized using an iteration procedure of the simplex method. Previous models (TIL and SINK) using the original values of parameters for IR64 failed to predict the number of tillers of IR64 in 1997. However, when re-parameterized, both models described the 1997 data well for both cultivars. The two models also predicted fairly well the number of tillers of different transplanting spacing and N input treatments of IR72 in 1998 using IR72 parameters derived from the 1997 experiment. A simple RGR model was comparable with the TIL and SINK models in descriptive and predictive ability. It appears that all three models could be used for predicting tiller production of irrigated rice.
In spite of the important role it plays for water and nutrient acquisition, information on the root system development in cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is limited. To examine the root length and branching pattern with reference to shoot growth and tuber bulking, we grew cassava plants in containers under natural climatic conditions in the southern end of Sumatra Island, Indonesia. One 20-cm length cutting of cassava (cv. Ardira IV) was planted in either a plastic bucket or a wooden box. The containers, which were filled with heavy clay soil, had different sizes depending on the growing period. At 30, 60, 100, 140, 180, and 270 days after planting (DAP), both the shoot and roots were sampled for quantitative analysis. The dry weight of both shoot and roots increased rapidly with the leaf area. The axile root number, however, decreased from 60 to 140 DAP as a result of the abscission of roots emerging from the basal part of the cutting during tuber bulking. The total root length reached its maximum at 60 DAP and significantly decreased thereafter because of decay and decomposition during tuber bulking. On the other hand, the root branching either increased the branching order or retained it, as determined from a topological point of view. The root branching during the later growing period compensated for the decrease in total root length and contributed to maintain a sufficient root surface area. The surviving roots with a well-developed branching pattern could absorb water and nutrients essential for tuber bulking.
Vegetative growth characters and yield components of water chestnuts distributed in Japan and China were investigated for 12 local lines of 6 species ; i.e., 5 small and 2 medium fruit lines from Japan, and 5 large fruit lines from China. The materials were transplanted and grown in a flooded field usually used for rice cultivation in Saga City in 1995. The lines from China had higher rates of foliage formation, developed emersed leaves earlier and maintained them longer compared with the Japanese lines. The small fruit lines of Japan had the shortest growing period, although the number of rosettes was larger. The fruit yield of the small, medium and large fruit lines, was 250 to 400 g m-2, about 600 g m-2 and 600 to 1, 000 g m-2, respectively. The fresh weight of well-ripened fruit was 1 to 5 g for the small fruit lines, 5 to 10 g for the medium fruit lines and more than 10 g for the large fruit lines. The number of fruits per m2 increased as the fruit size of the lines decreased. However, the productivity of the water chestnut was higher in the large fruit lines than in the small or medium fruit lines.