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Commentary Open Access
Spikelets are individual flower units of the complex panicle type inflorescence of rice. Each spikelet is genetically competent to bear a well-filled grain at maturity. However, heterogeneous grain development underscores this potential and spikelets located on the basal part of panicle do not bear grains suitable for human consumption. The problem of poor grain filling is more acute in the newly introduced large-panicle super rice. My research was intended to find out the chemical routes for enhancing grain filling in the inferior basal spikelets. The research ruled out discrimination in photosynthetic assimilate supply, but identified ethylene as being responsible for variation in grain filling capacity among spikelets of rice panicle. Inferior spikelets produce more ethylene impeding the activities of starch synthesizing enzymes to the detriment of grain filling, as a result of which assimilates not used in growth accumulate in the developing kernel. In contrast, superior spikelets located on apical branches of panicle produce less ethylene and fill faster because of metabolic dominance in starch biosynthesis.
spikelets, ethylene, glucose, Protein engineering,Transcriptome analysis,Comparative transcriptomics