Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 135–151 | Cite as

Apoplasmic assimilates and grain growth of contrasting rice cultivars differing in grain dry mass and size

  • Sandhya Rani Kuanar
  • Rashmi Panigrahi
  • Ekamber Kariali
  • Pravat Kumar Mohapatra
Original paper


Apical dominance in assimilate filling impacts grain growth in basal spikelets of rice panicle. In this study, organic materials of the pericarp, apoplasmic space and endosperm of the apical and basal caryopses, and photosynthesis of the flag leaf were measured during early part of grain development in three types of rice cultivars with similar phenology, but difference in grain weight and size in the dry and wet seasons of 2006 and 2007, respectively. Photosynthetic activity of the flag leaf was consistently low in small-seeded cultivars. Rates of grain filling and cell division of endosperm and concentration of assimilates, starch, proteins and chlorophylls of the caryopsis were lower, but spikelet ethylene production and peroxidase activity were higher in a small-seeded cultivar compared to a big-seeded cultivar. Similar disparities in grain filling and other attributes were noticed for the inferior basal spikelets of the panicle compared to the superior apical spikelets, except the assimilate concentration of the pericarp and endosperm. Temporal fluctuation in assimilate concentration of the organs were similar between the cultivars. Concentration of apoplasmic assimilates mostly exhibited negative correlation with that of pericarp and endosperm. Compared to the apical spikelets, correlation was more negative for the basal spikelets. Conversely, correlation was positive between the concentration of apoplasmic assimilates and endosperm cell number and grain weight of the cultivars. Ethylene released from the spikelets at anthesis affected growth and cell division rates of endosperm and enhanced protein and chlorophyll degradation and peroxidase activity of the caryopsis. It was concluded that variation in spikelet ethylene production may be responsible for differences in size or weight of grains among rice cultivars and spikelets at different locations of the panicle. The concentration of apoplasmic assimilates could be an indicator for grain filling capacity, and ethylene regulated the concentration by affecting pericarp activity for assimilate unloading.


Rice Assimilates Spikelets Ethylene Apoplasmic space 



The authors thank University Grants Commission, New Delhi for support under DRS project and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi for support under the Emeritus Scientist project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandhya Rani Kuanar
    • 1
  • Rashmi Panigrahi
    • 1
  • Ekamber Kariali
    • 1
  • Pravat Kumar Mohapatra
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Life ScienceSambalpur UniversitySambalpurIndia

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