Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 66–76 | Cite as

Changes in the Chlorophyll Content and Cytokinin Levels in the Top Three Leaves of New Plant Type Rice During Grain Filling

  • Leila Rubia
  • Latha Rangan
  • Rimjhim Roy Choudhury
  • Miroslav Kamínek
  • Petre Dobrev
  • Jiri Malbeck
  • Mark Fowler
  • Adrian Slater
  • Nigel Scott
  • John Bennett
  • Shaobing Peng
  • Gurdev S. Khush
  • Malcolm Elliott


This paper reports the ways that the differences in leaf senescence are related to grain filling, grain yield, and the dynamics of cytokinins (CKs) in the top three leaves of four field-grown new plant type (NPT) rice, a tropical japonica developed at the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines, to increase the yield potential of rice. The chlorophyll content in leaves decreased from flowering to maturity in all the NPT lines, whereas the grain filling percentage was higher in the fast-senescing NPT line than in slow-senescing NPT line. Grain yield was positively correlated with senescence in the flag leaf. Rapid changes in the CK levels were recorded in the leaves of the fast-senescing line, whereas the CK levels were relatively stable in leaves of the slow-senescing line, suggesting that the dynamics of CKs in the fast-senescing line are vital for fast senescence. There were no significant changes in bioactive CKs, CK O-glucosides (storage CKs), and cis-zeatin derivatives in different leaves of the slow-senescing NPT line between 0 and 3 weeks after flowering, suggesting that the content of these CKs is relatively stable during grain filling. A progressive increase in levels of bioactive CKs was positively correlated with gradual accumulation of CK N-glucosides (inactive CKs) in the top three leaves of the slow-senescing NPT line, whereas the decrease of bioactive CKs in the flag leaf of the fast-senescing line was accompanied by accumulation of CK O-glucosides. These results suggest that there is a higher rate of biosynthesis and/or import of bioactive CKs as well as their turnover which may favor delay of leaf senescence in the slow-senescing NPT line.


Chlorophyll Cytokinins Grain filling Leaf senescence New plant type rice 



This work was financed by the Department for International Development and partly financed by the Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (Grant No. 1M06030). The authors thank Mrs. Alena Trávničková for help with MS analysis and Ms. Gina Borja for her assistance in the SPAD measurements.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leila Rubia
    • 1
  • Latha Rangan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rimjhim Roy Choudhury
    • 2
  • Miroslav Kamínek
    • 3
  • Petre Dobrev
    • 3
  • Jiri Malbeck
    • 3
  • Mark Fowler
    • 1
  • Adrian Slater
    • 1
  • Nigel Scott
    • 1
  • John Bennett
    • 4
  • Shaobing Peng
    • 4
  • Gurdev S. Khush
    • 5
  • Malcolm Elliott
    • 1
  1. 1.The Norman Borlaug Institute for Global Food SecurityDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyIndian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia
  3. 3.Institute of Experimental BotanyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrague 6Czech Republic
  4. 4.International Rice Research InstituteMetro ManilaPhilippines
  5. 5.University of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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