Scientific reports 2016
Heat-induced phytohormone changes are associated with disrupted early reproductive development and reduced yield in rice.
Heat stress causes morphological and physiological changes and reduces crop yield in rice (Oryza sativa). To investigate changes in phytohormones and their relationships with yield and other attributes under heat stress, four rice varieties (Nagina22, Huanghuazhan, Liangyoupeijiu, and Shanyou 63) were grown in pots and subjected to three high temperature treatments plus control in temperature-controlled greenhouses for 15 d during the early reproductive phase. Yield reductions in Nagina22, Huanghuazhan, and Liangyoupeijiu were attributed to reductions in spikelet fertility, spikelets per panicle, and grain weight. The adverse effects of high temperature were alleviated by application of exogenous 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA) in the heat-susceptible Liangyoupeijiu. High temperature stress reduced active cytokinins, gibberellin A1 (GA1), and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), but increased abscisic acid (ABA) and bound cytokinins in young panicles. Correlation analyses and application of exogenous 6-BA revealed that high temperature-induced cytokinin changes may regulate yield components by modulating the differentiation and degradation of branches and spikelets, panicle exsertion, pollen vigor, anther dehiscence, and grain size. Heat-tolerant Shanyou 63 displayed minor changes in phytohormones, panicle formation, and grain yield under high temperature compared with those of the other three varieties. These results suggest that phytohormone changes are closely associated with yield formation, and a small reduction or stability in phytohormone content is required to avoid large yield losses under heat stress.