Survey of wheat straw stem characteristics for enhanced resistance to lodging

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Lodging is one of the major constraints that threaten crop productivity. Although the relationship between cell walls and straw strength has been well recognized, little relevant research has been done in wheat, particularly on the monomer composition and structural characteristics of cell wall polymers and the arrangement of vascular bundles. In this study, we systematically investigated cell wall- and straw-related traits in a range of wheat germplasm resources and culm mutants using a high-throughput platform for cell wall analysis. We found that varieties with higher breaking force exhibited higher levels of crystalline cellulose but fewer hemicellulose components than other varieties. The lignin content was not consistent with the breaking force; instead, the lignin monomer constitution might be important because a significantly higher proportion of p-hydroxyphenyl (H) and guaiacyl (G) but a lower proportion of syringyl (S) monomers of lignin was found in the higher breaking force group. The crystallinity detected by X-ray diffraction was positively correlated with breaking force, indicating that the physical/chemical properties of polysaccharides also deserve attention. In terms of anatomical characteristics, the varieties with higher breaking force had a lower number and area of smaller vascular bundles in the peripheral sclerenchyma than other varieties. These results, together with the finding of a highly significant correlation between stem breaking force and straw fresh weight, 2nd internode width, flag leaf width and SiO2 content, should provide systematic information for breeding for lodging resistance.

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This work was supported in part by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31771775 and 31171524), the Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Guangxi University (A3310051010 and EE101701), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (20070420917), the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province (2009CDB324), and the China Scholarship Council (File No. 201208420115).

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Correspondence to Lingqiang Wang.

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Muhammad, A., Hao, H., Xue, Y. et al. Survey of wheat straw stem characteristics for enhanced resistance to lodging. Cellulose (2020) doi:10.1007/s10570-020-02972-7

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  • Wheat
  • Lodging
  • Cell wall
  • Cellulose
  • Hemicellulose
  • Lignin