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Higher crop performance of rice hybrids than of elite inbreds in the tropics. 2. Does sink regulation, rather than sink size, play a major role?

Lafarge T., Bueno C.S.. 2009. Field Crops Research, 114 (3) : p. 434-440.

Higher harvest index, widely reported as a main trait supporting major improvements in rice yield potential, also supports the higher performance of hybrids over inbreds. Although higher sink size is generally claimed for being the driver of higher grain filling in hybrid rice, it is relevant to question whether efficient sink regulation, that is timing and magnitude of the successive sink activities over crop growth from early stage, plays a role in supporting higher harvest index and is a key feature ensuring higher performance of hybrid rice. The partitioning coefficient (PC), as the increase in dry matter of one single organ over that of shoot, was calculated over short and successive periods to quantify the dynamics of dry matter partitioning. Four hybrid and four inbred genotypes of similar crop duration were grown under the same cropping management on the IRRI farm during a wet and a dry seasons. While PC to blade and sheath was similar for both plant types in both seasons at the early stage, PC to culm of hybrids was higher than that of inbreds, and PC to blade was lower, in the late vegetative and early reproductive phases. During the late reproductive phase, PC to panicle of hybrids was higher than that of inbreds, and PC to culm was lower whereas culm elongation was similar for both plant types. During grain filling, PC to culm was significantly more negative with hybrids which indicated stronger remobilization with hybrids. Specific culm length before anthesis, as low as 40 cm g_1, accounted for storage ability, and at maturity, as high as 130 cm g_1, for remobilization ability. Sink strength index, as a better indicator of dry matter partitioning efficiency than harvest index, and unfilled grain size, as an indicator of assimilatewastage, were suggested as key indices to account for the better sink regulation in hybrid rice and to improve screening protocols for increasing yield potential and tolerance to lodging. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : rendement des cultures; hybride; oryza; philippines

Thématique : Culture des plantes; Génétique et amélioration des plantes

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