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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 118-124
    Received: Feb 22, 1993

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Remobilization of Carbon and Nitrogen in Wheat as Influenced by Postanthesis Water Deficits

  1. Jairo A. Palta ,
  2. Tohru Kobata,
  3. Neil C. Turner and
  4. Ian R. Fillery
  1. CSIRO Dryland Crops and Soils Res. Unit, Div. of Plant Industry, Private Bag, P.O. Wembley, W.A. 6014, Australia
    Faculty of Agric., Shimane Univ., Nisikawatu-cho 1060, Matsue 690, Japan



Preanthesis stored C and N in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) are important in a mediterranean climate because grain filling frequently depends on the remobilization of preanthesis assimilates. We determined the effect of the rate of development of postanthesis water deficits on the remobilization of C and N to the grain using stable isotopes of C and N accumulated in the plant during the vegetative phase. Plants were grown in pots with adequate water and under similar temperature and humidity conditions until anthesis, and then were transferred to two temperature and humidity regulated greenhouses, and watering was stopped. One greenhouse was maintained at minimum relative humidity of 80% and the other at 40%. Within 6 d of anthesis the rates of development of plant water deficits became different and for the first 19 d after anthesis they were 0.10 and 0.18 MPa d−1 for the high and low humidity regimes, respectively. Total grain C with fast development of water deficits was reduced by 24%, relative to the slow rate, because postanthesis C assimilation was reduced by 57%, while remobilization of preanthesis stored C was increased by 36%. Total grain N was not affected by the rate of development of water deficits because there was a greater retranslocation of preanthesis N with fast relative to slow development of water deficits and because there was a smaller loss of preanthesis N with fast development of water deficits. Fast development of water deficits reduced losses of preanthesis N from 25% to 6%. The absolute contributions of preanthesis C and N to the grain were 449 and 35 mg plant−1, respectively, with fast development of water deficits. These contributions accounted for 64 and 81% of the total grain C and N, respectively. The gain in grain 13C and 15N in the mainstem and Tiller 1 of plants exposed to rapid development of water deficits, arose not only from remobilization from the straw of those shoots, but also seemed to be supplemented by C and N remobilized from Tillers 2 and 3.

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