In future climates, rice crops will be frequently exposed to water deficit and heat stress at the most sensitive flowering stage, causing spikelet sterility and yield losses. Water deficit alone and in combination with heat stress significantly reduced peduncle elongation, trapping 32% and 55% of spikelets within the leaf sheath, respectively. Trapped spikelets had lower spikelet fertility (66% in control) than those exserted normally (>93%). Average weighted fertility of exserted spikelets was lowest with heat stress (35%) but higher with combined stress (44%), suggesting acquired thermo-tolerance when preceded by water-deficit stress. Proteins favoring pollen germination, i.e., pollen allergens and beta expansin, were highly up-regulated with water deficit but were at normal levels under combined stress. The chaperonic heat shock transcripts and proteins were significantly up-regulated under combined stress compared with either heat or water deficit. The importance of spikelet proteins responsive to water deficit and heat stress to critical physiological processes during flowering is discussed.
Jagadish, S.V.K.; Muthurajan, R.; Rang, Z.W.; Malo, R.; Heuer, S.; Bennett, J.; Craufurd, P.Q. Spikelet Proteomic Response to Combined Water Deficit and Heat Stress in Rice (Oryza sativa cv. N22). Rice (2011) 4 (1) 1-11. [DOI: 10.1007/s12284-011-9059-x]