Heat-shock effects on photosynthesis and sink-source dynamics in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

A.H.C.M. Schapendonk, H.Y. Xu, P.E.L. van der Putten, J.H.J. Spiertz

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23 Citations (Scopus)


To assess the mechanisms causing genotypic differences in heat tolerance of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), physiological responses to a heat shock in a vegetative (`end of tillering¿) or a reproductive (`early grain filling¿) stage were studied. Three cultivars ¿ Lavett, Ciano-79 and Attila ¿ differing in adaptation to heat were grown in a glasshouse at a day/night temperature regime of 15/10 °C and a 12-h daylength from sowing to `end of tillering¿ and next at two day/night regimes of 25/20 and 18/13 °C under natural daylength. The heat-shock treatment consisted of an exposure of plants to temperatures raised gradually over a time-span of 12 hours to above 30 °C with a maximum of 38 °C during three hours at midday for three days either at the `end of tillering¿ or at `grain filling¿. A heat shock at the `end of tillering¿ strongly reduced the rate of leaf photosynthesis. A similar heat shock during `grain filling¿ decreased both rate of photosynthesis (source) and grain growth (sink). The rate of leaf photosynthesis was decreased by 40 to 70%, depending on cultivar and developmental stage. Photosynthesis fully recovered within 4 days after the heat-shock treatment was ended. The effects of the heat shock on biomass yield were more pronounced for treatments at `early grain filling¿ than at `end of tillering¿. However, the impact of a 3-day heat shock on biomass yield was less than the effects of the pre- and post-treatment growing temperature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-54
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • heat tolerance
  • stomatal resistance
  • fluorescence
  • senescence
  • wheat
  • triticum aestivum
  • genetic variance
  • photosynthesis
  • crop yield
  • high-temperature stress
  • grain-growth
  • irrigated environment
  • yield
  • cereals
  • quality
  • traits
  • productivity
  • limitations
  • maturation


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