Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most important staple foods in the world, however most improved rice varieties are susceptible to drought stress. A two-year study was conducted to explore the effects of various drought stresses and subsequent recovery on the accumulation and degradation of proline, total soluble sugar and starch in different rice varieties at vegetative stage. The results showed that relative water content in the leaves and sheaths of rice varieties significantly decreased under drought stresses, but not at the same rate. Under control and drought conditions, the water content in sheaths was higher than that in leaves. Interestingly, under severe drought stress in 2015, the leaf water content was higher than the sheath water content. The water distribution between leaves and sheaths might be a response of plants to protect leaf system from devastation by drought. Proline was highly accumulated under drought stress but rapidly decreased after re-watering. The drought tolerant variety DA8 expressed higher ability in accumulation of proline than susceptible varieties. In general, total soluble sugar and starch contents in leaves and sheaths of varieties decreased under drought stress conditions. Total soluble sugar and starch content of DA8 were less affected than other varieties under drought conditions. Our study indicated that metabolisms of total soluble sugar and starch in rice were affected by both environmental conditions and characteristics of varieties. Proline accumulation ability of varieties can be used as a useful indicator for drought tolerant potential in rice breeding for water-limited environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science