Structural development and stability of rice Oryza sativa L. var. Nerica 1

M. A O Oladokun, A. R. Ennos

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    The structural development of glasshouse-grown rice Oryza sativa L. var. Nerica 1 was studied in relation to its stability against lodging. The morphology and mechanical properties of both the stem and roots were examined from tillering, 4 weeks after transplantation up to maturity, together with plant weight distribution and anchorage strength. The 'factors of safety' against root and stem failure were subsequently calculated throughout development. Rice plants showed similar morphology to wheat, although they possessed around twice as many tillers per plant and 10 times as many coronal roots. The mechanics of anchorage were also similar. The strength and rigidity of individual tillers increased throughout development as the plants grew taller and heavier and were around 15 times greater than in wheat. By contrast, individual root bending strength, the number of roots, and the anchorage strength levelled off earlier, and anchorage strength was only around twice that in wheat. Consequently, while the self-weight safety factor against stem failure was much higher than in wheat, increasing until late on in development from around 30 to 150, the self-weight safety factor against root anchorage failure was similar to wheat, decreasing from around 15 to 5. Consequently, plants subjected to anchorage tests always failed in their root system rather than their shoot system. The results suggest that, in the field, rice plants would be more likely to undergo root lodging than stem lodging, and that breeding efforts to reduce the incidence of lodging should act to strengthen the rather weak coronal roots. © 2006 The Author(s).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3123-3130
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


    • Anchorage
    • Biomechanics
    • Lodging
    • Rice
    • Safety factor
    • Structural development


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