Physiological basis of chilling tolerance and early-season growth in miscanthus

Simon Fonteyne, Hilde Muylle, Peter Lootens, Pavel Kerchev, Wim Van den Ende, Ariane Staelens, Reheul Dirk, Isabel Roldán-Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Aims The high productivity of Miscanthus × giganteus has been at least partly ascribed to its high chilling tolerance compared with related C4 crops, allowing for a longer productive growing season in temperate climates. However, the chilling tolerance of M. × giganteus has been predominantly studied under controlled environmental conditions. The understanding of the underlying mechanisms contributing to chilling tolerance in the field and their variation in different miscanthus genotypes is largely unexplored.
• Methods Five miscanthus genotypes with different sensitivities to chilling were grown in the field and scored for a comprehensive set of physiological traits throughout the spring season. Chlorophyll fluorescence was measured
as an indication of photosynthesis, and leaf samples were analysed for biochemical traits related to photosynthetic activity (chlorophyll content and pyruvate, Pi dikinase activity), redox homeostasis (malondialdehyde, glutathione
and ascorbate contents, and catalase activity) and water-soluble carbohydrate content.
• Key Results Chilling-tolerant genotypes were characterized by higher levels of malondialdehyde, raffinose and sucrose, and higher catalase activity, while the chilling-sensitive genotypes were characterized by higher concentrations of glucose and fructose, and higher pyruvate, Pi dikinase activity later in the growing season. On the early sampling dates, the biochemical responses of M. × giganteus were similar to those of the chilling-tolerant genotypes, but later in the season they became more similar to those of the chilling-sensitive genotypes.
• Conclusions The overall physiological response of chilling-tolerant genotypes was distinguishable from that of chilling-sensitive genotypes, while M. × giganteus was intermediate between the two. There appears to be a trade-off between high and efficient photosynthesis and chilling stress tolerance. Miscanthus × giganteus is able to overcome this trade-off and, while it is more similar to the chilling-sensitive genotypes in early spring, its photosynthetic capacity is similar to that of the chilling-tolerant genotypes later on.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1093/aob/mcx159
JournalAnnals of Botany
Volume121
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)281
Number of pages295
ISSN0305-7364
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Physiological basis of chilling tolerance and early-season growth in miscanthus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this