Water deficits in wheat: fructan exohydrolase (1-FEH) mRNA expression and relationship to soluble carbohydrate concentrations in two varieties

J. Zhang, B. Dell, E. Conocono, I. Waters, Tim Setter, R. Appels

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    65 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Terminal drought is a risk for wheat production in many parts of the world. Robust physiological traits for resilience would enhance the preselection of breeding lines in drought-prone areas.• Three pot experiments were undertaken to characterize stem water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC), fructan exohydrolase expression, grain filling and leaf gas exchange in wheat (Triticum aestivum) varieties, Kauz and Westonia, which are considered to be drought-tolerant.• Water deficit accelerated the remobilization of stem WSC in Westonia but not in Kauz. The profile of WSC accumulation and loss was negatively correlated with the mRNA concentration of 1-FEH, especially 1-FEH w3 (1-FEH-6B). Under water deficit, Westonia showed lower concentrations of WSC than Kauz but did not show a corresponding drop in grain yield.• The results from pot experiments suggest that stem WSC concentration is not, on its own, a reliable criterion to identify potential grain yield in wheat exposed to water deficits during grain filling. The expression of 1-FEH w3 may provide a better indicator when linked to osmotic potential and green leaf retention, and this requires validation in field-grown plants.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)843-850
    JournalNew Phytologist
    Volume181
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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