Phosphorus uptake, partitioning and redistribution during grain filling in rice

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Julia, C, Wissuwa, M, Kretzschmar, T, Jeong, K & Rose, T 2016, 'Phosphorus uptake, partitioning and redistribution during grain filling in rice', Annals of Botany, vol. 118, no. 6, pp. 1151-1162.

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BACKGROUNDS AND AIMS: In cultivated rice, phosphorus (P) in grains originates from two possible sources, namely exogenous (post-flowering root P uptake from soil) or endogenous (P remobilization from vegetative parts) sources. This study investigates P partitioning and remobilization in rice plants throughout grain filling to resolve contributions of P sources to grain P levels in rice.

METHODS: Rice plants (Oryza sativa 'IR64') were grown under P-sufficient or P-deficient conditions in the field and in hydroponics. Post-flowering uptake, partitioning and re-partitioning of P was investigated by quantifying tissue P levels over the grain filling period in the field conditions, and by employing (33)P isotope as a tracer in the hydroponic study.

KEY RESULTS: Post-flowering P uptake represented 40-70 % of the aerial plant P accumulation at maturity. The panicle was the main P sink in all studies, and the amount of P potentially remobilized from vegetative tissues to the panicle during grain filling was around 20 % of the total aerial P measured at flowering. In hydroponics, less than 20 % of the P tracer taken up at 9 d after flowering (DAF) was found in the above-ground tissues at 14 DAF and half of it was partitioned to the panicle in both P treatments.

CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrate that P uptake from the soil during grain filling is a critical contributor to the P content in grains in irrigated rice. The P tracer study suggests that the mechanism of P loading into grains involves little direct transfer of post-flowering P uptake to the grain but rather substantial mobilization of P that was previously taken up and stored in vegetative tissues.

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