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Photosynthetic characteristics in Oryza species


Photosynthetic rate (P N), SPAD value, specific leaf area (SLA), flag leaf area (FLA), and nitrogen content (LN) of genus Oryza were investigated and their correlation was analyzed to assess some of the main photosynthetic traits among different species in the genus Oryza. The results revealed wide variation in these traits. The species O. rufipogon and O. australiensis exhibited maximum photosynthetic rate. Comparison of different types of genomes (diploid: 2n=2x=24; tetraploid: 2n=4x=48) and growth habit (shade- or sun-grown) showed the species of diploid (with genome symbol EE; 2n=2x=24) genomes, with perennial and sun-grown species, had high apparent photosynthesis compared to others. The species with BB/BBCC, shade-grown and the tetraploids showed high SPAD value, and the flag leaf in sun-grown species and diploids were thicker (low SLA) compared with others. However, no significant difference could be noticed among the different types of genomes. Higher leaf area was noticed among the species of CC/CCDD genome, perennial shade-grown species and tetraploids than in others. The variety IR 36 exhibited highest leaf nitrogen concentration. Correlation analysis showed a strong relationship between P N and leaf nitrogen concentration while no marked relationships were observed among other characteristics. It implies that the species with thick and small leaves with high nitrogen concentration and high photosynthesis evolved better than others. O. rufipogon, with the same genome as O. sativa, could be one of the wild rice resources for elite crop improvement.

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flag leaf area


nitrogen concentration in flag leaves

P N :

net photosynthetic rate


photosynthetically active radiation


specific leaf area


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This work was funded by National Basic Research Program of China (2009CB118605).

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Correspondence to M. Zhao.

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Zhao, M., Ding, Z., Lafitte, R. et al. Photosynthetic characteristics in Oryza species. Photosynthetica 48, 234–240 (2010).

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Additional key words

  • flag leaf area
  • leaf N concentration
  • net photosynthetic rate
  • SPAD meter reading
  • specific leaf area