Climate change may lead to an increase in both day and night time temperatures in rice (Oryza sativa L) growing regions, but the impact of such temperature increases on yields of Australian rice varieties is not known. We evaluated the biomass and grain yield response of eleven Australian rice varieties including long, medium and short grain types, and the Californian cultivar M205, to heat stress during the reproductive phase and grain filling stages. Heat stress (day/night = 35/25°C) was applied at one of three stages: from panicle exertion to anthesis (PE), from anthesis to 10 days after anthesis (EGF) and from 10–20 days after anthesis (LGF) periods after which the effect on biomass and grain yield was compared to control plants. When heat stress was applied at PE and early grain filling stages, mean grain yield losses across rice varieties were 83% and 53%, respectively, though significant genotype × heat stress treatment interactions were observed. Notably, three varieties—YRM 67, Koshihikari and Opus—appeared to possess greater tolerance to heat stress at these growth stages. A significant genotype × heat stress treatment interaction was also observed in the LGF treatment, where significant yield reductions were only observed in Opus (21% loss) and YRM 67 (25% loss). A lack of effect of heat stress on total grain yield in most varieties at late grain filling appeared to be due to late tiller grain yields which were either unaffected by the heat stress or increased significantly compared to control plants. While genetic variation for tolerance to heat stress across the three growth stages was observed, there was no rice genotype that was consistently tolerant (in terms of yield under stress) across all three heat stress treatments. In the absence of a genotype that showed broad heat stress tolerance during reproductive growth, we suggest screening of a wider pool of more diverse rice germplasm is warranted.
Ali, F., Waters, D. L. E., Ovenden, B., Bundock, P., Raymond, C. A., & Rose, T. J. (2019). Australian rice varieties vary in grain yield response to heat stress during reproductive and grain filling stages. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, 205(2), 179-187. https://doi.org/10.1111/jac.12312