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Photosynthetica

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 40–46 | Cite as

Comparison of the photosynthetic characteristics in the pericarp and flag leaves during wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) caryopsis development

  • L. A. Kong
  • Y. Xie
  • M. Z. Sun
  • J. S. Si
  • L. Hu
Original Papers

Abstract

The pericarp of cereal crops is considered a photosynthetically active tissue. Although extensive studies have been performed on green leaves, the photosynthetic role of the pericarp in cereal caryopsis development has not been well investigated. In the present study, we investigated the anatomy, ultrastructure, chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence, and oxygen evolution of the pericarp during caryopsis ontogenesis in field wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The results showed that wheat pericarp cross-cells contained Chl; the grana stacks and thylakoid membranes in the cross-cells were more distinct in the pericarp than those in the flag leaves as shown by transmission electron microscopy. Chl fluorescence revealed that the photosynthetic efficiency, which was indicated by values of maximum efficiency of PSII photochemistry and effective PSII quantum yield, was lower in the pericarp compared to that of the flag leaf eight days after anthesis (DAA), whereas similar values were subsequently observed. The nonphotochemical quenching values were lower from 8–16 DAA but significantly increased in the pericarp from 24–32 DAA compared to the flag leaf. The oxygen evolution rate of the flag leaves was consistently higher than that of pericarp; notably, isolated pericarps released more oxygen than intact pericarps during caryopsis development. These results suggest that the pericarp plays a key role in caryopsis development by performing photosynthesis as well as by supplying oxygen to the endosperm and dissipating excessive energy during the grain-filling stages.

Additional key words

chlorophyll fluorescence oxygen evolution pericarp photosynthesis wheat ultrastructure 

Abbreviations

Chl

chlorophyll

DAA

days after anthesis

F0

minimal fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state

Fs

steadystate fluorescence yield

Fv

maximum variable fluorescence in dark-adapted samples

Fv/Fm

maximal quantum yield of PSII photochemistry

Fm

maximal fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state

FM

fresh mass

Fm

maximal fluorescence yield of the light-adapted state

NPQ

nonphotochemical quenching

PEPC

phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase

ΦPSII

effective quantum yield of PSII photochemistry

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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. A. Kong
    • 1
  • Y. Xie
    • 1
  • M. Z. Sun
    • 2
  • J. S. Si
    • 1
  • L. Hu
    • 1
  1. 1.Crop Research InstituteShandong Academy of Agricultural SciencesJinanChina
  2. 2.Plant Protection Station of Liaocheng CityLiaochengChina

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