Heat stress during gametophyte development in Brassica napus reduces floret fecundity



Oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) is particularly sensitive to high temperatures during flowering. However, the impacts of heat stress during male and female gametophyte development, several days before anthesis and fertilisation, remain unclear. In this study, precise transient heat stress (maximum 32 ℃ day /22 ℃ night) or control (maximum 25 ℃ day /15 ℃ night) treatments were applied to cultivars AV-Ruby and YM11 to evaluate the impact of heat stress during male and female gametophyte development on subsequent floret fecundity after hand-pollination. We measured floret fecundity by pod set, number of seeds per pod and average seed size. Heat stress during male gametophyte development reduced pollen viability and germination rate, and resulted in fewer pods and seeds per pod on the main stem. However, despite these negative impacts, pollen tubes successfully traversed the style and were visible at a high percentage of ovules in both heat stress and control treatments. When heat stress was applied to the female gametophyte in the first five buds on the main stem, subsequent floret fecundity was reduced in the lower main stem, while florets in the upper main stem exhibited higher fecundity than in the control treatment. The common impact of heat stress during gametophyte development, across two cultivars and male and female gametophyte tissue, was a reduction in the number of pods and seeds per pod formed and not a reduction in average seed size. Heat stress during sporogenesis and/or gametogenesis in male and female organs had a lasting impact on subsequent floret fecundity.
Date made available28 May 2024
PublisherThe University of Western Australia
Temporal coverage2022 - 2023
Date of data productionMar 2022 - Mar 2023
Geographical coverageUniversity of Western Australia Crawley campus
Geospatial point-31.986, 115.822Show on map


  • Brassica napus
  • oilseed rape
  • canola
  • Heat stress
  • gametophyte development
  • floret fecundity

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